AND FINALLY: Scientists in Glasgow develop break-through small Gravity detector – called (of course) the Wee-G!

The Wee-G small gravity detector
The Wee-G small gravity detector

Scientists at Glasgow University have found a way to adapt a system often found in smartphones to create a super-sensitive detector capable of measuring minute changes in gravity.

In a paper published today (31 March) in Nature, researchers describe how they have adapted cheap, widely-available technology to make a small but powerful gravimeter for the first time.

Affordable, portable gravimeters could have a wide range of applications, including volcano monitoring, environmental surveying, and oil exploration.

The detector, built at the University’s James Watt Nanofabrication Centre, is a collaboration between the School of Physics and Astronomy (Institute for Gravitational Research) and the School of Engineering (Electrical & Nanoscale).

The work is one of the first research outcomes from QuantIC, the UK’s centre of excellence for research, development and innovation in quantum enhanced imaging, which was established in 2015.

And yes, it’s called the Wee-g because ( of course) the new device uses the same cheap, mass-producible micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) which are used in smartphones’ internal accelerometers.

  • On the same shoogly-linguistic basis, asylum-seekers in Glasgow are now informally known as ‘Refuweegees’.
  • This is simply proof of a dynamic language – as this name has long-been used by residents of Edinburgh as a term of endearment for people born in Glasgow who now live in the capital . . . 

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