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

Pierre Touboul, Gilles Métris, Manuel Rodrigues, Yves André, Quentin Baghi, Joël Bergé, Damien Boulanger, Stefanie Bremer, Patrice Carle, Ratana Chhun, Bruno Christophe, Valerio Cipolla, Thibault Damour, Pascale Danto, Hansjoerg Dittus, Pierre Fayet, Bernard Foulon, Claude Gageant, Pierre Yves Guidotti, Daniel HagedornEmilie Hardy, Phuong Anh Huynh, Henri Inchauspe, Patrick Kayser, Stéphanie Lala, Claus Lämmerzahl, Vincent Lebat, Pierre Leseur, Françoise Liorzou, Meike List, Frank Löffler, Isabelle Panet, Benjamin Pouilloux, Pascal Prieur, Alexandre Rebray, Serge Reynaud, Benny Rievers, Alain Robert, Hanns Selig, Laura Serron, Timothy Sumner, Nicolas Tanguy, Pieter Visser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

164 Citations (Scopus)

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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number231101
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume119
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2017

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