The solar test of the equivalence principle

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Title: The solar test of the equivalence principle
Author: Anderson, John; Gross, Mark; Nordtvedt, Kenneth; Turyshev, Slava
Abstract: The Earth, Mars, Sun, Jupiter system allows for a sensitive test of the strong equivalence principle (SEP) which is qualitatively different from that provided by Lunar Laser Ranging. Using analytic and numerical methods we demonstrate that Earth-Mars ranging can provide a useful estimate of the SEP parameter $\eta$. Two estimates of the predicted accuracy are derived and quoted, one based on conventional covariance analysis, and another (called ``modified worst case'' analysis) which assumes that systematic errors dominate the experiment. If future Mars missions provide ranging measurements with an accuracy of $\sigma$ meters, after ten years of ranging the expected accuracy for the SEP parameter $\eta$ will be of order $(1-12)\times 10^{-4}\sigma$. These ranging measurements will also provide the most accurate determination of the mass of Jupiter, independent of the SEP effect test. (Refer to PDF file for exact formulas.)
Description: Also archived at: arXiv:gr-qc/9510029 v1 16 Oct 1995
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Date: 1996-03-01

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