Notorious 'Big G' gets a little larger

Gravitational constant is difficult to measure, but physicists calculate new number

By Meghan Rosen, 15:19 PM September 12, 2013

Nature’s slipperiest constant might be a smidge bigger than the currently accepted value.

Newton’s gravitational constant, the notoriously hard-to-measure “Big G,” is about 0.02 percent larger than the current standard, researchers report September 5 in Physical Review Letters.

If correct, the new value means that “Jupiter and the sun are probably a bit lighter than we think,” says study coauthor Harold Parks of Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque.

But a slightly bigger G shouldn’t chan...

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