I am at Sir Isaac Newton’s house, Woolsthorpe Manor in England.
My weight is 308.58g. This is 0.04g heavier than I am in London. This is consistent with the previous results from my experiment. I am currently 186 kilometres North of London, and the further I travel from the equator, the heavier I will get.
I have previously explained why this happens. “The closer I am to the equator, the less I should weigh. The velocity of the Earth’s spin at the equator is 1,670km/hr. This counteracts the force of gravity by up to 0.3%. Also because of the equatorial bulge I will be further from the centre of our planet. The further apart 2 objects are, the weaker the gravitational attraction will be between them.”
Many thanks to the National Trust and the people of Woolsthorpe Manor for making this weighing possible. It was an honour to spend some time deep in scientific thought beneath the significant boughs of Sir Isaac Newton’s tree.
Finally, thanks to the children of Colsterworth C Of E Primary School for coming to meet me and taking part in my experiment. I hope that you all learnt something from weighing a gnome under an apple tree.
Official statement: I have not been kidnapped.
This week I was shocked to find this article on the pages of the reputable news website Barga News.
This seems to be a case of mistaken identity. The article claims that I am in fact Stile The Gnome from Barga, Italy. However, I can assure you that I am Kern The Gnome from Balingen, Germany. For humans it can be difficult to spot the differences between gnomes. I am over 50 years older than Stile and wear a blue hat. I have heard of Stile on my travels, he is a keen geologist and local gnome enthusiasts mentioned him when I visited Peru and the South Pole.
The article states that I am “forced to work unpaid and non stop around the world for [my] German masters.” Nothing could be further from the truth. All of my travel is first class funded by Kern & Sohn GmbH, they provide a luxury travel case of the highest comfort, my per diem is higher than a gnome could possibly spend, and all of my results count towards my impending professorship at Gnome University Balingen.
I assure the author Keane that I will put word out to all of my travelling gnome network, and we will report as soon as we hear news of Stile. He is fond of a drink and telling travelling tales, so I’m sure he will turn up somewhere soon.
When my global experiment ends I should visit the European Gnome Sanctuary to relax and unwind. Please contact me and let me know how I can book an extended stay in a room with a view of Barga Cathedral.
I weigh 307.65g at CERN, Geneva.
This result is consistent with what I would expect from my previous results. SNOLAB, Canada was a similar latitude and my weight only differs 0.02g between these 2 locations. Compare the results on my map.
The closer I am to the equator, the less I should weigh. The velocity of the Earth’s spin at the equator is 1,670km/hr. This counteracts the force of gravity by up to 0.3%. Also because of the equatorial bulge I will be further from the centre of our planet. The further apart 2 objects are, the weaker the gravitational attraction will be between them. I really should visit Kenya, Indonesia or Ecuador and take a control reading exactly on the equator.
The man in the photographs who is helping me to conduct my experiment is Mick Storr, Head Of Education and Outreach at CERN. A great host who seemed as pleased to meet me as I was to meet him.
The location for this experiment was the actual Control Room for the Large Hadron Collider. The scientists stopped working to watch my weigh in. I hope that they didn’t miss the Higgs boson while they were turned away from their screens!
Some of these images are © 2012 CERN. Usage rights are here
Kern gnome at CERN, Part 1.
Find out why CERN is such a special place for me here.
Here I am stood outside the elegant wooden dome entrance. I couldn’t wait get inside, explore and meet as many scientists as possible.
I had a thorough investigation of the piping which contains the accelerating proton beams for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). I even got to go inside the pipe, which is much the same dimensions as the entrance tunnel to my house back in Balingen, Germany.
Then straight on to the Control Room for the LHC. To think that a press of one of these buttons could eventually lead to the detection of the Higgs boson! The scientists were hard at work, but didn’t mind answering my gnomish enquiries, and were also keen to find out about my much smaller experiment (find out about my latest reading tomorrow).
Some of these images are © 2012 CERN. Usage rights are here
My protective travel case is safely stowed in the plane hold and I’m settling in for a long haul flight from Canada to Switzerland. Everyone else seems to be drinking wine and complaining about the lack of leg room, but not me, I have a glass of Duty Free maple syrup in front of me and ample space to stretch out.
The in flight magazine has some suggestions of things to do with my hat during the flight. I’m not quite sure how I can do these hat gymnastics, they seem quite advanced. Can anyone give me some tips?
Weighing in at 307.73g at SNOLAB, Sudbury, Canada.
The surface reading is lighter than I had estimated for this latitude based on my previous results. I really need to travel further North again at some point to take more readings.
I took another reading 2km underground in the world’s deepest laboratory at SNOLAB. I weighed in at 307.63g, 0.1g lighter than at the surface.
So why do I weigh 0.1g less 2km underground?
Well, there is 2km less of rock under my feet pulling me in, so the gravity is not as strong here. But also there is 2km of rock above me pulling me slightly up with its gravity, so this will also slightly reduce my weight. Gravity in both directions.
Want a guaranteed way to lose weight? Travel 2km straight down. I could market this as the Gnome Diet. The only downside is the one and a half hour lift journey!
At 2km deep, SNOLAB is the world’s deepest underground laboratory facility. It is an unbelievable privilege to be visiting such an important site for the physics world. I believe I am the first gnome ever to visit this facility, 1 to me Charlie!
Experiments conducted at Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) laboratory are subject to precise conditions. The lab is a class 2000 cleanroom which has very low levels of background radiation and dust, note my hairnet (no suitable beardnets were available).
Because the lab sits under 2,070m of rock, it is shielded from cosmic rays. This gives scientists a low-background environment in which to conduct experiments requiring high sensitivities and extremely low counting rates. The accuracy of some of the equipment here is fascinating, I cannot wait to tell Albert all about it when I get back to Germany.
Externally the original SNO detector is an incredible and elegant piece of precision science engineering. I hear that the inside looks like a Buck Rogers space disco, but I didn’t get to enter it this time.
Thanks to my host Samantha for showing me around the facility. It was extremely educational, but we also had some fun. Although I’m not so sure about this candid photo of me after a shower!
Thanks to the Discovery Channel for featuring the Gnome Experiment on their Daily Planet show.
I am a gnome of few words and don’t like talking to cameras. So Chris Jillings, a Research Scientist from Sudbury Neutrino Observatory took an eloquent lead in describing the Gnome Experiment.
The interview features a televised weighing. A new experience for me. Eagle eyed viewers might notice a quick flash of pride cross my face during the close-up.
Watch the feature from 3 minutes 40 seconds here
An August Sauter weight comparator. I never would have expected to find such a beautiful vintage weighing device in New Caledonia. My hosts from Quincaillerie Nouvelle really are some of the most thoroughly equipt precision weighing experts I ever met.
To think that this splendid device has travelled half the way around the world from my region of Balingen, Germany, to this island in the southwest Pacific Ocean. It makes me glad that precision weight measurement technology has progressed. Imagine if I was travelling with this beast as hand luggage.
The local Kanak gnome on the other side of the comparator was actually very friendly. Don’t be fooled by the grumpy faces in the photographs; gnomes never ever smile for the camera.
When you are on a beautiful island like this the best thing a gnome can do is visit the beaches and explore the rainforests. Science can wait. Erik is quite insistent that I have one day to relax. After all, my scientific schedule has been gruelling, and all of the media attention and interviews have taken up much time over the last few days.
I visited Noumea Aquarium des Lagons where I was able to study fascinating nauteluses and fluorescent corals. It looks like I am underwater, but of course I have been keeping my beard dry and my hat pointy behind the glass.
Some people on beaches and in aquaria assume that I carry a diving knife with me. I actually always carry a useful gnomish scientific knife which can cut with great accuracy. Furthermore, the nearest I like to get to open water can be measured by a fishing rod length.
My host Erik took me to see some Kanak culture. The indigenous Melanesian inhabitants of New Caledonia make up a more than 40% of the population, and their excellent arts and crafts are everywhere. Here I am deep in thought outside a traditional hut.
Tomorrow I am back into serious science gnome mode. My experiment has been attracting increasing attention, and I want to make sure that I have more results mapped here as soon as possible.
New Caledonia is a rare pin for the map of any travelling gnome. As far as I know, only my new gnome explorer pen pal Charlie is likely to have been here.
So here I land, in the southwest Pacific Ocean, 1,500 kilometres east of Australia. I’m brushing up on my French and heading to meet my host Erik in the capital Noumea.
New Caledonian soils hold around 25% of the world’s nickel resources. This is extremely unlikely to effect my experiment, but I bet some of my gnome geologist colleagues would like to get their pickaxes into the rock here.
Before we conduct the experiment, I’m hoping that Erik can take me to see some Kanak history. Especially a traditional Kanak great house. Sensibly these houses are built to a resilient and strong gnome hat design. This is probably why they have stood intact for so long.
During my stay I’ll be looking out for two special birds. The endemic cagou bird (also know as kagu), a beautiful flightless bird which can use it’s wing to climb trees. Also the New Caledonian crow, which is famous for the ability to make and use tools to rival those of primates. I wonder if a New Caledonian crow has ever built a set of scales?
My experiment made front page news on the Metro newspaper in the UK. It is fantastic that my investigative mission is spreading scientific knowledge.
I am a gnome celebrity today. But I won’t let this fame make me big headed. The change in weight could throw out all of my future results.
Gnomadic. Very funny. There must be a gnome copywriter working at the Metro. He is probably called Metrognome.
Thanks to everyone at the Metro for the coverage!
Time always seems to drag when you are airside waiting for a plane. But take your eye off the board for a minute and it is suddenly last call for your flight.
Someone should study perceived time in airports. Unfortunately all of the gnome scientists studying this particular field end up with their bearded faces pressed up against the glass at the duty free watch shop.
307.9g in Tokyo. I do not weigh enough to be a sumo gnome. This is quite a light weight for me, but what I would have expected due to the latitude of this city. Compare this to my previous results here: http://gnomeexperiment.com/
I don’t know what the guy in the background is finding so amusing. Maybe I had something in my beard. I hope not though, even a speck of beardruff could change the result. Normally I keep myself completely clean and well presented for just this reason, I don’t even like to be touched unless someone is wearing lint free cotton gloves. Some people might think that is weird, but not me, I’m a serious science gnome.
Next stop? Maybe somewhere underground! I better pack my head torch.
Many thanks to my host Atsushi Obata from http://vibra.co.jp/