Home Universe French Satellite Microscope May Challenge Theory of Relativity

French Satellite Microscope May Challenge Theory of Relativity

by Sankalan Baidya
French Satellite Microscope

Theory of Relativity changed the whole face of Physics and changed the way looked at gravity. It was one of the most ground-breaking works over a century ago. However, is it correct? Today there are a group of people who really want to see the Theory of Relativity proven wrong. Who are these people? Well, they belong to the discipline of quantum mechanics. Interestingly, the French Satellite Microscope (yes, that’s the name – Microscope) is all set to prove the Theory of Relativity either right or wrong.

If Microscope manages to prove that Theory of Relativity is wrong, people of quantum mechanics will be the happiest people on planet Earth. However, if that really happens, all the physics that we have learned so far will be lost. Everything has to be redone from zero. But, if Microscope manages to prove the Theory of Relativity was correct, we can definitely live with our old daily life.

So, what is Microscope and what is it doing up there in space? What is its sole purpose? Who put it up there? Let us find out!

What is this French Satellite Microscope?

You must have heard of CNES. If not, it is the French Space Agency which is known as Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales and CNES is responsible for putting Microscope up there in space. Microscope is the name given to a small satellite or a microsatellite whose sole business up there is to test whether free fall is universal or not. The total lifespan of Microscope is only 2 years. The satellite has cost the French government 130 million Euros and was sent to space using Russian Soyuz rocket from French Guiana.

Now, what the hell is this universality of free fall? We will skip the unnecessary details and give you a brief. As per the Theory of Relativity, if two objects of different material and mass are dropped in vacuum, both of them will fall exactly at the same speed. To simplify further, the Equivalence Principle of the Theory of Relativity states that if, suppose, a feather and a lead ball are dropped at the same time and allowed to fall freely in perfect vacuum, both will fall down at the same speed irrespective of their actual mass. All the physics related to gravity that we have learned till date uses this Equivalence Principle.

So, why the hell one needs to test this principle in space?

That’s because there is no such thing called perfect vacuum on Earth. There will be absolutely no perturbations whatsoever in an orbiting satellite, that are usually found on Earth. Also, objects that will be allowed to fall freely will actually be in permanent and perfect free fall. This makes sense because, Einstein’s theory was theoretical and there was absolutely no practical proof. Microscope will either offer a proof and validate the theory or simply prove that it is incomplete.

What objects did French Satellite Microscope carry?

For the purpose of testing the Equivalence Principle, the satellite carried two cylinders – a platinum-rhodium alloy cylinder and a titanium cylinder. The golden cylinder you see in the image is the titanium one and the other one is that alloy cylinder. Now, during the experiment, if the two cylinders show slightest of speed differences in free fall, it will mean that the Theory of Relativity was not correct or better said, incomplete and whatever we learned so far was not correct as well.

cylinders on french satellite microscope

According to Thibault Damour – a French physicist – if the experiment shows even slightest of deviations from Equivalence Principle, it will not necessarily mean that Einstein’s theory was completely incorrect. It will just mean that the theory of incomplete and there are other forces that actually contribute to gravity.

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mahesh khati May 2, 2016 - 5:17 pm

I have already proved that Einstein special theory of relativity is mathematically wrong. refer paper on http://www.maheshkhati.com. In 1st chapter, I proved that applied force is less than acting force in SR & other math…

hiroji kurihara October 4, 2018 - 8:52 am

Free Fall

An elevator cabin is in free fall. On a plane, an observer is moving in a uniform linear motion horizontally. To him, the locus of the elevator is visible as a parabola.

On every atom of the former, inertial force is acting. On every atom of the latter, inertial force is not acting. Inertial force is not fictitious force. So, the two motions are not relative.


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hiroji kurihara January 27, 2019 - 9:04 am

Equivalence Principle

Let’s start from accelerated motion. Many substances (solids, fluids, etc) are moving in various accelerated motion. According to this motion, inertial force occurs. Imagine water of a current. Involvement between inertial force and gravity will be on resultant force only.《P.S.》Acceleration is not relative and inertial force is not fictitious. The two are corresponding qualitatively and quantitatively.

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hiroji kurihara February 10, 2019 - 9:09 am

Equivalence principle

Free fall of an elevator will be (one of the) problems of resultant force (composition of forces). All will be explicable as a problem of resultant force.

There are two pictures. In each picture, vector of two forces (f = f’) acting on a point are drawn. Direction of vectors is opposite (right and left). In one picture, forces are gravity and gravity. In the other picture, gravity and inertial force. Two pictures will not be the same (an infinite small area will be also).

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Hiroji kurihara April 30, 2019 - 7:52 am

Lorentz contraction

Plain waves of light (wavelength is constant) are coming from the upper right 45 degrees. Two bars of the same length are moving to the right and the left at the same speed. The number of waves hitting the bars is the same. Lorentz contraction is unthinkable.

Hiroji kurihara May 5, 2019 - 6:58 am

Time dilation

A light source is shinning (frequency is constant). Two observers are receding from the light source (in the opposite direction). Two observers receive the same frequency. Where is the time dilation ?

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Hiroji kurihara May 23, 2019 - 7:40 am

An elevator in free fall

In it, action and reaction are working. The two are equal as a whole and at the selected infinite small area. By the way, in an elevator accelerated horizontally, the two are equal at every area.

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.hiroji Kurihara May 25, 2019 - 7:11 am

Equivalence principle

Every inertial force is measurable. Every gravitational force is measurable also. Principally. In an elevator in free fall, there is no exception.

Hiroji kurihara May 30, 2019 - 5:14 am

Are the two indistinguishable? Vector of the two are opposite.

Hiroji kurihara May 31, 2019 - 5:33 am

Equivalence principle

In space, there are two gravitational sources (point source). In the middle of the two, a small area is selected. This area will be state of weightlessness (not zero gravity). Like an elevator in free fall.

Hiroji kurihara June 5, 2019 - 9:25 am


A website says, ” A charged particle is decelerated. And energy of motion is emitted as electro magnetic waves”. But, difference between deceleration and acceleration will be relative seen from inertial frames. Or, phenomenon bremsstrahlung depends on the absolute rest frame?

Hiroji kurihara July 2, 2019 - 5:30 am

Free fall

Inertial force ma is said to be virtual. If so, mg in free fall will be the same. And normal force will be virtual.

Vector of gravity and vector of inertial force are ubiquitous around us. And resultant forces are the same also. Why they make a big fuss on an elevator in free fall ?


Hiroji Kurihara July 12, 2019 - 2:48 am

Lorentz contraction

In a moving passenger car, MM experiment is being done. Between two light pathes diverged by a half mirror, there is considerable difference in length. Lorentz contraction will not stand up.

Hiroji Kurihara July 20, 2019 - 7:09 am

Constancy of speed of light

They say, it stands up on an observer in every inertial frame. Yes, when the light source shines in that frame, it is true.

Some man mistook this fact natural for a great discovery. And it is believed widely.

Hiroji kurihara September 25, 2019 - 2:45 am

Non free fall

Imagine an elevator cabin is falling in various density of air. Hydrodynamics tell the motion of these elevators. Equivalence principle is valid.

Hiroji kurihara September 25, 2019 - 2:50 am

Difference of motion

Difference of inertial motion and accelerated motion will be difference of motion relative to aether frame. And accelerated motion and inertial force are the front and back of a fact. Inertial force is not fictitious.

Hiroji kurihara September 25, 2019 - 8:50 am

Difference of motion

Difference of inertial motion and accelerated motion will be difference relative to aether frame. And accelerated motion and inertial force are the front and back of a fact. Inertial force is not fictitious.

Hiroji kurihara September 25, 2019 - 10:20 am

Speed of light

To an observer floating in outer space, speed of light of a star is depending on the position on the celestial sphere. And when the light source is not distant, speed of light is depending on the motion of the source (according to the emission theory). In addition, by the motion of an observer.

Hiroji kurihara October 15, 2019 - 1:36 am

Equivalence principle
Two forces the same in strength are acting on a particle from the opposite. The two are inertial force, tension and gravity. Different combinations are three. Forget equivalence principle.


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