About this Research Topic
Among the quantities whose measurement metrology is involved in, length and time surely play an important role. Moreover, since the beginning of twentieth century their status and role drastically changed: Einstein theories of special and general relativity implied a deep rethinking, which can be roughly summarized by introducing a fundamental entity, the “spacetime” (new geometry: special relativity), which is curved and dynamic (general relativity). The consequences associated to this change are very important, and still today they cannot be said being totally unfolded. This is especially true on the experimental side: testable consequences of relativity are usually small at the scales accessible by direct (i.e., non-astrophysical/cosmological) investigation. Yet considerable progress has come from several directions, and today some of these consequences are gradually entering the accessible domain, not to say everyday life: the Global Positioning System (GPS) and more in general Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), to be fully exploited, require careful consideration of at least the biggest among these tiny effects.
This rather new domain can be termed as “Relativistic Metrology”: the precise measurement of quantities related to spacetime dynamics and – therefore – to gravitational dynamics. “Precise” means knowledge of possible tiny disturbing effects on the measurements, and this along the years spurred many research and many technological advances.
The proposed Research Topic will concentrate on the description and discussion of precise measurements in this field, along with the related scientific and technological issues. The focus, whenever possible, should be however placed on fundamental aspects.
Among the various topics expected to be covered by submitted articles are:
• measurement of time (and frequency)
• measurement of length
• geodesy and geophysics
• astronomy and astrometry
• fundamental physics tests in laboratory and space
The expected range of topics and disciplines is therefore rather wide; it goes from basic measurement techniques (such as length and time) to various application domain. The scope of submitted manuscripts ranges from detailed description of experiments providing advance in the field of relativistic metrology to theoretical ones confronting with the numerous subtleties involved. Also welcome are wider reviews covering one or more of the topics listed above. We particularly welcome contributions from graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.
Keywords: Special Relativity, General Relativity, Metrology
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.