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Gravitational redshift space-probe experimentA Scout D rocket was launched from Wallops Island, Virginia, carrying an atomic hydrogen maser oscillator system as the payload. The frequency of signals from the oscillator was monitored on the ground at Merritt Island, Florida, by using two hydrogen masers as comparison oscillators. The first-order Doppler shift in the signals was eliminated by a go-return transponder link to the payload, and the resulting data, representing the relativistic shifts, were recovered and recorded. The objective was to measure directly the effect of gravitational potential on the frequency of an atomic hydrogen maser assuming it to be a 'proper' clock. A gravitational effect amounting to some 4.5 parts in 10 to the 10th power was measured with an oscillator having a stability better than 1 part in 10 to the 14th power. Therefore, to make the best possible use of the oscillator, all frequency shifts at the 2 to 5 X 10 to the -15 power level in delta f/f in the system must be accounted for. This includes all the phase variations that can cause such a shift to appear. The experiment, the data available and the manner in which they were processed, and the results are described.
Document ID
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Vessot, R. F. C. (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Cambridge, MA, United States)
Levine, M. W. (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Cambridge, MA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 4, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 1979
Subject Category
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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