Mass Proximity Indicator


Years back one of my favorite sci fi authors was A. Bertram Chandler. In his books there was a mythical device called a mass proximity indicator (MPI). As its name implies it can detect mass, and until recently this was not even close to a possibility. Recently the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) created a clock so accurate that it will neither gain nor lose one second in some 15 billion years*–roughly the age of the universe.

It occurred to me that creating an array of these in MEMS (Micro-Electronic Mechanical System) format, might make an MPI a possibility, as each one would have a slightly different clock speed depending on the location of various masses near it.

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5 Responses to Mass Proximity Indicator

  1. Wzrd1 says:

    It occurs to me that twice or grater would actually achieve meaningful information about the entire universe.

    • Wzrd1 says:

      Addendum, still an excellent first start.

      • David Fuchs says:

        I was thinking a set of about 100 sats in orbit could map the universe. The issue is you need to determine the distance between the clocks, the more accurate your measurements or the greater the distance, the better the resolution. A combo of the two would give you really fine resolution at a distance.

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