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LISA Pathfinder proof-mass under test
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- Title LISA Pathfinder proof-mass under test
- Released 10/10/2006 4:46 pm
- Copyright Courtesy of M. Hueller (University of Trento)/R. Davis (BIPM)
This photograph shows the LISA Pathfinder gold-platinum proof-mass being placed over the high sensitivity balance used at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM, France) to measure the proof-mass's magnetic susceptibility .
Once in space, LISA Pathfinder's proof-masses will be used to detect forces as small as the weight of a typical bacterium, and test the theory of General Relativity.
The perfect proof-mass is one that responds only to the force of gravity. Therefore, scientists needed to precisely measure how the LISA Pathfinder proof-masses respond to magnetic forces so that they can compensate for this in their calculations.