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Phys Rev Lett. 2017 Dec 8;119(23):231101. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.231101. Epub 2017 Dec 4.

MICROSCOPE Mission: First Results of a Space Test of the Equivalence Principle.

Author information

1
ONERA, chemin de la Hunière, BP 80100, F-91123 Palaiseau Cedex, France.
2
Université Côte d'Azur, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, CNRS, IRD, Géoazur, 250 Avenue Albert Einstein, F-06560 Valbonne, France.
3
CNES, 18 Avenue Edouard Belin, F-31401 Toulouse, France.
4
ZARM, Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity, University of Bremen, Am Fallturm, D-28359 Bremen, Germany.
5
IHES, Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, 35 route de Chartres, F-91440 Bures-sur-Yvette, France.
6
DLR, Köln Headquarters, Linder Höhe, 51147 Köln, Germany.
7
LPTENS, École Normale Supérieure (PSL Research University), 24 Rue Lhomond, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France.
8
PTB, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Bundesallee 100, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany.
9
IGN, Institut Géographique National, 73 Avenue de Paris, F-94160 Saint Mandé, France.
10
Laboratoire Kastler Brossel, UPMC-Sorbonne Université, CNRS, ENS-PSL Research University, Collège de France, F-75005 Paris, France.
11
Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, United Kingdom.
12
Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Kluyverweg 1, 2629 HS Delft, The Netherlands.

Abstract

According to the weak equivalence principle, all bodies should fall at the same rate in a gravitational field. The MICROSCOPE satellite, launched in April 2016, aims to test its validity at the 10^{-15} precision level, by measuring the force required to maintain two test masses (of titanium and platinum alloys) exactly in the same orbit. A nonvanishing result would correspond to a violation of the equivalence principle, or to the discovery of a new long-range force. Analysis of the first data gives δ(Ti,Pt)=[-1±9(stat)±9(syst)]×10^{-15} (1σ statistical uncertainty) for the titanium-platinum Eötvös parameter characterizing the relative difference in their free-fall accelerations.

PMID:
29286705
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.231101
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