Inequality between gravitational and inertial masses: Suggested experiment in the Earth's orbit

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Recently, we have theoretically demonstrated that passive gravitational mass of a composite quantum body is not equivalent to its inertial mass due to some quantum effects. As an example, we have considered the simplest composite quantum body - a hydrogen atom. It is important that we have also suggested an idealized experiment in the Earth's orbit to observe the above mentioned phenomenon. Here, we discuss how to perform the corresponding real experiment. In particular, we consider He-4 atoms, solid He-4 under pressure, and crystalline dielectric solids. In the case where spacecraft moves them in the Earth's gravitational field with constant velocity, one can observe a breakdown of the Equivalent Principle by absorbing unusual radiation, emitted by one of the above mentioned macroscopic ensembles of the atoms. In the case of crystalline dielectric, one can observe a finite electric conductivity in the Earth's orbit. If one of such experiments is done, it will be not only the first observation of a breakdown of the Equivalence Principle, but also the first direct observation of quantum effects in General Relativity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2017 IEEE Aerospace Conference
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
ISBN (Electronic)9781509016136
StatePublished - Jun 7 2017
Event2017 IEEE Aerospace Conference, AERO 2017 - Big Sky, United States
Duration: Mar 4 2017Mar 11 2017

Publication series

NameIEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)1095-323X


Other2017 IEEE Aerospace Conference, AERO 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBig Sky

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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