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Space test of the equivalence principle: first results of the MICROSCOPE mission

Touboul, P. and Métris, Gilles and Rodrigues, Manuel and André, Yves and Baghi, Quentin and Bergé, Joel and Boulanger, Damien and Bremer, Stefanie and Chhun, Ratana and Christophe, B. and Cipolla, Valerio and Damour, T. and Danto, Pascale and Dittus, Hansjörg and Fayet, Pierre and Foulon, B. and Guidotti, Pierre-Yves and Hardy, Emilie and Huynh, Phuong-Anh and Lämmerzahl, Claus and Lebat, Vincent and Liorzou, Françoise and List, Meike and Panet, Isabelle and Pires, Sandrine and Pouilloux, Benjamin and Prieur, Pascal and Reynaud, S. and Rievers, Benny and Robert, Alain and Selig, Hanns and Serron, Laura and Sumner, Timothy and Visser, Pieter (2019) Space test of the equivalence principle: first results of the MICROSCOPE mission. Classical and Quantum Gravity, 36 (22), p. 225006. Institute of Physics (IOP) Publishing. DOI: 10.1088/1361-6382/ab4707 ISSN 0264-9381

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Abstract

The weak equivalence principle (WEP), stating that two bodies of different compositions and/or mass fall at the same rate in a gravitational field (universality of free fall), is at the very foundation of general relativity. The MICROSCOPE mission aims to test its validity to a precision of 1E-15, two orders of magnitude better than current on-ground tests, by using two masses of different compositions (titanium and platinum alloys) on a quasi-circular trajectory around the Earth. This is realised by measuring the accelerations inferred from the forces required to maintain the two masses exactly in the same orbit. Any significant difference between the measured accelerations, occurring at a defined frequency, would correspond to the detection of a violation of the WEP, or to the discovery of a tiny new type of force added to gravity. MICROSCOPEs first results show no hint for such a difference, expressed in terms of Eötvös parameter delta (both 1 uncertainties) for a titanium and platinum pair of materials. This result was obtained on a session with 120 orbital revolutions representing 7% of the current available data acquired during the whole mission. The quadratic combination of 1 uncertainties leads to a current limit on delta of about 1.3 x 1E-14.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/132404/
Document Type:Article
Title:Space test of the equivalence principle: first results of the MICROSCOPE mission
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Touboul, P.ONERA, ChâtillonUNSPECIFIED
Métris, GillesObs. de la Côte Azur, ValbonneUNSPECIFIED
Rodrigues, ManuelONERA, ChâtillonUNSPECIFIED
André, YvesCNES, ToulouseUNSPECIFIED
Baghi, QuentinObs. de la Côte Azur, ValbonneUNSPECIFIED
Bergé, JoelONERA, ChâtillonUNSPECIFIED
Boulanger, DamienONERA, ChâtillonUNSPECIFIED
Bremer, StefanieStefanie.Bremer (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-8091-0121
Chhun, RatanaONERA, ChâtillonUNSPECIFIED
Christophe, B.bruno.christophe (at) onera.fr, ONERA, ChatillonUNSPECIFIED
Cipolla, ValerioCNES, ToulouseUNSPECIFIED
Damour, T.Inst. Hautes Etudes Scientifiques, Bures-sur-YvetteUNSPECIFIED
Danto, PascaleCNES, ToulouseUNSPECIFIED
Dittus, HansjörgHansjoerg.Dittus (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Fayet, PierreLPTENS, Ecole Normale Supérieure, ParisUNSPECIFIED
Foulon, B.ONERA, ChâtillonUNSPECIFIED
Guidotti, Pierre-YvesCNES, ToulouseUNSPECIFIED
Hardy, EmilieONERA, ChâtillonUNSPECIFIED
Huynh, Phuong-AnhONERA, ChâtillonUNSPECIFIED
Lämmerzahl, ClausZARM, University of Bremen, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Lebat, VincentONERA, ChâtillonUNSPECIFIED
Liorzou, FrançoiseONERA, ChâtillonUNSPECIFIED
List, MeikeMeike.List (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-5268-5633
Panet, IsabelleIGN, Institut géographique national, Saint MandéUNSPECIFIED
Pires, SandrineLaboratoire AIM, CEA, CNRS, Gif-sur-YvetteUNSPECIFIED
Pouilloux, BenjaminCNES, ToulouseUNSPECIFIED
Prieur, PascalCNES, ToulouseUNSPECIFIED
Reynaud, S.Laboratoire Kastler Brossel, CNRS, UMPC, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Rievers, BennyZARM, Univ. Bremenhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4231-9362
Robert, AlainCNES, ToulouseUNSPECIFIED
Selig, HannsUniversity of BremenUNSPECIFIED
Serron, LauraObs. de la Côte Azur, ValbonneUNSPECIFIED
Sumner, TimothyBlackett Laboratory, Imperial College LondonUNSPECIFIED
Visser, PieterTU DelftUNSPECIFIED
Date:18 October 2019
Journal or Publication Title:Classical and Quantum Gravity
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:36
DOI :10.1088/1361-6382/ab4707
Page Range:p. 225006
Publisher:Institute of Physics (IOP) Publishing
ISSN:0264-9381
Status:Published
Keywords:General Relativity, Experimental Gravitation, Equivalence Principle, Space accelerometers, Microsatellite
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:other
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R - no assignment
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - no assignment
Location: Bremen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Space Systems > Navigation and Control Systems
Institute for Satellite Geodesy and Inertial Sensing
Deposited By: Bremer, Dr.-Ing. Stefanie
Deposited On:10 Dec 2019 10:12
Last Modified:10 Dec 2019 10:12

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