Gravitation and the earth sciences: the contributions of Robert Dicke

Helge Kragh
The American physicist Robert Dicke (1916-1997) is primarily known for his important contributions to gravitation, cosmology, and microwave physics.
Much less known is his work in geophysics and related areas of the earth sciences in which he engaged himself and several of his collaborators in the period from about 1957 to 1969.
Much of Dicke’s work in geophysics was motivated by his wish to obtain evidence in support of the non-Einstenian Brans-Dicke theory of gravitation.
The idea of a decreasing gravitational constant, as entertained by Dicke and some other physicists (including Pascual Jordan), played some role in the process that transformed the static picture of the Earth to a dynamical picture.
It is not by accident that Dicke appears as a minor actor in histories of the plate tectonic revolution in the 1960s
….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s