Roman Kezerashvili, CityTech
In this talk, the concept, short review and current state of the art of solar sailing will be presented. General relativity (GR) effects related to the curved spacetime and frame dragging on long range trajectories of solar sails will be discussed. I’ll present our finding that small deviations in the initial trajectories of solar sails that are deployed near the Sun can translate to large effects in the long run and show that the Poynting–Robertson effect dominates over other special relativistic effects by decreasing the cruising velocity as well as the Heliocentric distance. It will be demonstrated that if a solar sailcraft can be used to test fundamental physics related to GR – particularly, the deflections of escape trajectories as the result of the curvature of spacetime and frame dragging in the vicinity of the Sun – then the most interesting orbits are those that are closer to the Sun.
Roman Kezerashvili is a Professor at Physics Department, New York City College of Technology and Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York, and a Director of the Center for Theoretical Physics at City Tech. He has two doctorates: Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics and D.Sc. (Habilitation) in Theoretical Physics and possesses an honor academic title “Professor of Physics” since 1990. He is the elected member of the International Academy of Astronautics, a member of the American Physical Society and American Association of Physics Teachers. Prof. Kezerashvili is well known for his influential contributions in understanding of a number of challenging issues in fields of nuclear physics, theoretical and mathematical physics, condensed matter physics and astronautics. In particularly, in the field of Astronautics he is an expert in the field of quantum mechanical studies of the near-sun space environment effects on solar sails. Prof. Kezerashvili pioneered the study of the general relativistic effects on solar sails and exploration of solar system and beyond using direct thermonuclear fusion drive. He has made noteworthy contributions to space education and outreach.