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Volume 353 - International Conference on Precision Physics and Fundamental Physical Constants (FFK2019) - Session 8: The gravity experiment of Roland Eötvös
The Eötvös Paradox: The Enduring Significance of Eötvös' Most Famous Experiment
E. Fischbach,* D. E. Krause
*corresponding author
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Pre-published on: 2019 October 15
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Following the death of Baron Loránd von Eötvös in 1919, his collaborators Desiderius Pekár and Eugen Fekete co-authored a paper in 1922 containing the results of a series of earlier experiments testing the identity of inertial and gravitational mass, the Weak Equivalence Principle (WEP). Although the so-called “EPF” paper made no claim for any WEP violations, a subsequent 1986 reanalysis of the EPF paper revealed a pattern in their data suggesting the presence of a new (“fifth”) force in nature. Although the EPF data, and the 1986 reanalysis of these data, present fairly compelling evidence for such a fifth force, many contemporary experiments have failed to detect its presence. Here we summarize the key elements of this “Eötvös paradox,” and suggest some possible paths to a resolution. Along the way we also discuss the close relationship between Eötvös and Einstein, and consider how their respective contributions may have been influenced by the other's.
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