Recommending a value for the Newtonian gravitational constant

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Journal titlePhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Article number20140029
SubjectFundamental constants; Gravitational constant; Least-squares adjustment; Newtonians
AbstractThe primary objective of the CODATA Task Group on Fundamental Constants is 'to periodically provide the scientific and technological communities with a self-consistent set of internationally recommended values of the basic constants and conversion factors of physics and chemistry based on all of the relevant data available at a given point in time'. I discuss why the availability of these recommended values is important and how it simplifies and improves science. I outline the process of determining the recommended values and introduce the principles that are used to deal with discrepant results. In particular, I discuss the specific challenges posed by the present situation of gravitational constant experimental results and how these principles were applied to the most recent 2010 recommended value. Finally, I speculate about what may be expected for the next recommended value of the gravitational constant scheduled for evaluation in 2014.
Publication date
PublisherThe Royal Society
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; Measurement Science and Standards
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21272620
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Record identifiercef4176e-ff76-4c22-a14a-27b9843fcc55
Record created2014-12-03
Record modified2016-05-09
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