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, 177 (4044), 168-70

Around-the-World Atomic Clocks: Observed Relativistic Time Gains

Around-the-World Atomic Clocks: Observed Relativistic Time Gains

J C Hafele et al. Science.


Four cesium beam clocks flown around the world on commercial jet flights during October 1971, once eastward and once westward, recorded directionally dependent time differences which are in good agreement with predictions of conventional relativity theory. Relative to the atomic time scale of the U.S. Naval Observatory, the flying clocks lost 59 +/- 10 nanoseconds during the eastward trip and gained 273 +/- 7 nanoseconds during the westward trip, where the errors are the corresponding standard deviations. These results provide an unambiguous empirical resolution of the famous clock "paradox" with macroscopic clocks.

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