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BIP® Helium confirms that Einstein’s predictions were right

Albert Einstein may be widely regarded as a genius of the twentieth century but some of his well-known predictions about the nature of the universe had been left unchallenged for more than a century. Now, an important space experiment has at last concluded that he was right all along.

The experiment, known as the Gravity Probe B, set out to test Einstein's Theory of Relativity about the nature of the universe – in particular his theory that space and time are distorted by the presence of massive objects like the Earth. Backed by NASA and Stanford University, the experiment has taken more than 40 years to complete.

As part of the experiment, four gyroscopes were launched into space to orbit the earth aboard a satellite at an altitude of 400 miles (640 km). It was found that the Earth's presence caused the arc travelled by the satellite to shift at a rate of 37 milliarc-seconds. With an uncertainty of 19%, this measurement concurred with Einstein's prediction of 39 milliarcseconds per year.

To assist with the experiment, Air Products supplied both gaseous and liquid helium. The gaseous helium, which was used to spin the gyroscopes, was supplied using Air Products' award-winning BIP® cylinder technology and was used to fill the inflight pressure bottles. The premium quality of the gases provided with BIP® cylinders avoid impurities that could have caused the gyroscope to freeze up and stop spinning.

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