Re: GR or QED?

George Murphy (
Wed, 29 Apr 1998 07:38:33 -0400

Glenn R. Morton wrote:
> I was corrected by both George Murphy and David Bowman when I said that GR
> was the best confirmed theory. I have thought about where I got that idea
> all day and figured out that it was from Hugh Ross. I found something that
> is close to that statement. he Says, " A recent experiment has confirmed
> the accuracy of Einstein's equation to at least twenty-one places of the
> decimal (within 0.0000000000000000001 percent.)" Creation and Time, p. 99.
> He cites S. K. Lamoreaux et al, "New limits on Spatial Anisotrophy from
> Optically Pumped 201Hg and 199Hg", Physical Review Letters 57(1986) pp
> 3125-3128.
> My question: Is Hugh correct about the applicability of this level of
> accuracy?
> Is the referenced article relevant to the issue?
> Has any part of QED been verified to that many decimal places?

I don't have this book of Hugh's but will check the PR article
today. From the title it sounds like a special relativity confirmation
- in GRT space _isn't_ strictly isotropic.
The equivalence principle has been confirmed observationally to
very high accuracy, but that's a presuuposition of GRT which is also
consistent with (though not demanded by) Newtonian theory (& other
gravitational theories). Tests of peculiarly GRT predictions - light
deflection, orbital precession &c - do not have the degree of precision
that a QED prediction like the Lamb shift does. (By "peculiarly
GRT" I mean effects predicted by Einstein's gravitational field
equations.) & there are _more_ tests of distinctive QED effects.
None of which is meant as a criticism of GRT!

George L. Murphy