The earth might actually be lighter in mass than we thought it was. Basically, physicists have actually recalculated the mass of the Earth by using a new, more precise calculation of the force of gravity, which is a constant known by the letter, “G
.” The result is that the Earth is actually lighter than previously thought – the new estimate calculates that the Earth is 5.972 sextillion metric ton
s, (5.972 x 10^18 metric tons), while textbooks currently list the mass as 5.978 sextillion metric tons.
The big letter, “G
.” is one of the three fundamental numbers that physicists believe are consistent across the universe – different measurements over the years on the big letter “G
” have caused wildly different results, raising the uncertainty level.
To arrive at this new constant the physicists in University of Washington
refined a Henry Cavendish
experiment which was used in the eighteenth century, where they used a torsion balance
to record the effects of gravity on four stainless steel balls on a gold-colored plate.
The acceptance of this new value of “G
” would reduce its uncertainty by a hundred times. The International Committee on Data for Science and Technology
will not make any changes yet, they are still waiting for the experiments to be finished, and the results are reviewed.