Principal investigator
Tom Kuusela, PhD
University of Turku, Department of Physics, 20014 Turku, Finland
In the past decades several observations on gravitation anomalies during total solar eclipses have been done. Since these observations cannot be explained by current theories of gravitation interaction they can be used to test fundamental aspects of general relativity theory, quantum physics and cosmology. However, all previous measurements have had a severe limitation because they have been performed using a single instrument in one place that makes it difficult to interpret the results and estimate the validity of the data.

The aim of this project is to explore the possible anomalies on the gravitational field during the total solar eclipse on March 2006 in Turkey. The measurements will be performed simultaneously at 3 different distant observation locations within the path of the totality, an approach never realized previously in eclipse related experiments. In each location the instrumentation will be equal, a magnetically coupled double pendulum gravimeter by which the direction and magnitude of the horizontal component of the gravity field can be directly measured. This method has been selected since all previous positive results can be explained by the tilt of the apparent vertical direction, and the designed gravimeter construction is more sensitive to this effect than the previously used instruments. Observation locations are positioned on the L-shape grid where one line is along the path of the eclipse and another line in a perpendicular direction. This configuration gives us the opportunity to calculate temporal and spatial correlations between different observations, an essential factor to produce reliable and comparable data.