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Posts uit maart, 2015 weergeven

Observing the shape of the Earth

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A few weeks ago, I visited a dear friend of mine at the University of Kiel. He is a professor in geosciences over there. He invited me to meet his team and learn about what they are doing. It was a great week with lot of learning moments. I advise every PhD student and scientist to once in a while visit other groups in your field to see their point of views. Also, it is nice to get out of your office and see the world. 
I want to write about one particular learning moment that week, which was a field tutorial with the LaCoste-Romberg gravimeter. This particular device is able to measure relative gravity variations up to 10 microGal. That is a relative variation of 9 digits after the 9.81 m/s^2 (in the Netherlands). This is the domain where you can feel the pull of the Moon, when it is orbiting above you. Wow!!!
The LaCoste-Romberg was invented already in 1932 by Lucien LaCoste and his teacher Arnold Romberg, who'd came up with a complete mechanical way to measure the gravity fiel…