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Relativity in the Global Positioning System

Overview of attention for article published in Living Reviews in Relativity, January 2003
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Among the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#23 of 106)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (91st percentile)

Mentioned by

13 tweeters
4 Wikipedia pages
1 video uploader


181 Dimensions

Readers on

191 Mendeley
Relativity in the Global Positioning System
Published in
Living Reviews in Relativity, January 2003
DOI 10.12942/lrr-2003-1
Pubmed ID

Neil Ashby


The Global Positioning System (GPS) uses accurate, stable atomic clocks in satellites and on the ground to provide world-wide position and time determination. These clocks have gravitational and motional frequency shifts which are so large that, without carefully accounting for numerous relativistic effects, the system would not work. This paper discusses the conceptual basis, founded on special and general relativity, for navigation using GPS. Relativistic principles and effects which must be considered include the constancy of the speed of light, the equivalence principle, the Sagnac effect, time dilation, gravitational frequency shifts, and relativity of synchronization. Experimental tests of relativity obtained with a GPS receiver aboard the TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite will be discussed. Recently frequency jumps arising from satellite orbit adjustments have been identified as relativistic effects. These will be explained and some interesting applications of GPS will be discussed.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 13 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 191 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 5 3%
United Kingdom 4 2%
Germany 3 2%
Italy 2 1%
France 2 1%
Austria 2 1%
Chile 1 <1%
Thailand 1 <1%
Portugal 1 <1%
Other 3 2%
Unknown 167 87%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 50 26%
Student > Ph. D. Student 42 22%
Student > Bachelor 28 15%
Student > Master 19 10%
Other 11 6%
Other 41 21%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Physics and Astronomy 83 43%
Engineering 29 15%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 27 14%
Computer Science 18 9%
Unspecified 11 6%
Other 23 12%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 16. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 21 April 2019.
All research outputs
of 13,253,522 outputs
Outputs from Living Reviews in Relativity
of 106 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 276,573 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Living Reviews in Relativity
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,253,522 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 92nd percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 106 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 11.3. This one has done well, scoring higher than 78% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 276,573 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 91% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them