Tom Murphy - Public Lecture: Einstein, the Moon and the Long Lost Soviet Reflector - THURSDAY (10/28)

Tom Murphy - Public Lecture: Einstein, the Moon and the Long Lost Soviet Reflector - THURSDAY (10/28) Einstein, the Moon and the Long Lost Soviet Reflector

One of the greatest successes of the former Soviet space program was a lunar rover called Lunokhod 1 Russian for "moonwalker." Landing on the moon on November 17, 1970 with a laser reflector, it wandered around the moon's surface for 11 months then mysteriously disappeared -- until last spring.

On April 22, nearly 40 years after Lunokhod 1 disappeared, a team headed by Tom Murphy found the reflector and pinpointed its distance from earth to within one centimeter.

The discovery came as part of a long-term project Murphy heads to send pulses of laser light to the moon from a telescope in New Mexico. The purpose, which he will describe in his talk, is to look for deviations of Einstein's theory of general relativity by measuring the shape of the lunar orbit to within the accuracy of one millimeter, or about the thickness of a paperclip.

The talk is free and the public welcome. Light refreshments will be served afterwards. If you have questions, please contact physcievents@ucsd.edu.