Re: New artifact: The Silicon Sphere

From: Robin Lee Powell (
Date: Sun Dec 07 2003 - 18:16:33 MST

On Sun, Dec 07, 2003 at 04:49:43PM -0800, J. Andrew Rogers wrote:
> On 12/7/03 3:33 PM, "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <>
> wrote:
> > While reviewing 2003, I ran across this article, which describes
> > humanity's creation of yet another Artifact like the Clock of
> > the Long Now. The key point is highlighted in the article's
> > body for your convenience.
> >
> > "It's probably the roundest item ever made by hand. 'If the
> > earth were this round, Mount Everest would be four meters tall,'
> > Dr. Nicolaus said. An intriguing characteristic of this smooth
> > ball is that there is no way to tell whether it is spinning or
> > at rest. Only if a grain of dust lands on the surface is there
> > something for the eye to track."
> Actually, the most perfect sphere that I am aware of

Note 'ever made by hand'. Assuming that phrase means what I'm used
to it meaning, it makes a difference.

> The sphere was part of the most perfect gyroscope ever made by
> several orders of magnitude, and it was designed to detect
> relativistic frame dragging, which was theorized but never
> measured until GPB. The gyroscope was designed to run
> continuously for a couple years at 10,000 rpm with an average
> drift of 10^-12 degrees per hour -- very impressive precision.

How did the experiment turn out?


Me:  ***   I'm a *male* Robin.
"Constant neocortex override is the only thing that stops us all
from running out and eating all the cookies."  -- Eliezer Yudkowsky             ***              .i cimo'o prali .ui

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