Satellite Laser-Ranging as a Probe of Fundamental Phys

Ciufolini, I., A. Paolozzi, E. C. Pavlis, G. Sindoni, J. Ries, R. Matzner, R. Koenig, C. Paris, V. Gurzadyan, and R. Penrose (2019), Satellite Laser-Ranging as a Probe of Fundamental Phys, Scientific Reports, 9, 15881, doi:10.1038/s41598-019-52183-9.

Satellite laser-ranging is successfully used in space geodesy, geodynamics and Earth sciences; and
to test fundamental physics and specific features of General Relativity. We present a confirmation to
approximately one part in a billion of the fundamental weak equivalence principle (“uniqueness of
free fall”) in the Earth’s gravitational field, obtained with three laser-ranged satellites, at previously
untested range and with previously untested materials. The weak equivalence principle is at the
foundation of General Relativity and of most gravitational theories.

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Research Program: 
Earth Surface & Interior Program (ESI)