A proposal for detection of absolute rotation using superconductors and large voltages

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Colleges, School and Institutes


We describe designs for practical detectors of absolute rotation, which rely on the creation of magnetic fields by charged objects that are rotating with respect to an inertial frame. Our designs, motivated by an original suggestion by R.M. Brady, utilize the properties of superconductors, both to shield and confine the magnetic fields, and also as the basis of a SQUID detector of the fields produced. We show that with commercially available SQUIDs, our designs can have sufficient sensitivity and signal to noise ratio to measure the sidereal rate of rotation of the Earth. We consider three different designs: two of these can also be configured to provide a confirmation of the form that Maxwell’s equations take in a rotating frame. We can also make a direct experimental test of whether low-frequency electromagnetic energy experiences the same inertial rest-frame as matter.


Original languageEnglish
Article number126994
JournalPhysics Letters A
Early online date5 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2021


  • superconductivity, Non-inertial frames, SQUIDs