(Optics.org) A new field version of a quantum gravimeter based around telecom-grade photonic components is scheduled to travel to Mount Etna next year, helping volcanologists predict when Europe’s largest active volcano might next erupt. Bruno Desruelle from the Bordeaux, France, company µQUANS said the system should be able to detect changes in gravity caused by the movement and build-up of magma inside the volcano.
The current fridge-sized system is said to be the only commercial quantum gravity sensor currently available. It calculates gravity by measuring the acceleration of the laser-cooled atoms in free-fall, picking up the minute changes in gravity caused each day by the Earth’s rotation and over each month by the orbit of the Moon.

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