, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 449-457

Determination of the gravitational constant G

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Abstract

A precise knowledge of the Newtonian gravitational constant G has an important role in physics and is of considerable meteorological interest. Although G was the first physical constant to be introduced and measured in the history of science, it is still the least precisely determined of all the fundamental constants of nature. The 2002 CODATA recommended value for G, G = (6.6742 ± 0.0010) × 10−11m3 · kg−1 · s−2, has an uncertainty of 150 parts per million (ppm), much larger than that of all other fundamental constants. Reviewed here is the status of our knowledge of the absolute value of G, methods for determining G, and recent high precision experiments for determining G.