Volume 77, Issue 3, March 2006
Index of content:
- GRAVITY; GEOPHYSICS; ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS
Dynamical response of the Galileo Galilei on the ground rotor to test the equivalence principle: Theory, simulation, and experiment. I. The normal modes77(2006); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.2173075View Description Hide Description
Recent theoretical work suggests that violation of the equivalence principle might be revealed in a measurement of the fractional differential acceleration between two test bodies—of different compositions, falling in the gravitational field of a source mass—if the measurement is made to the level of or better. This being within the reach of ground based experiments gives them a new impetus. However, while slowly rotating torsion balances in ground laboratories are close to reaching this level, only an experiment performed in a low orbit around the Earth is likely to provide a much better accuracy. We report on the progress made with the “Galileo Galilei on the ground” (GGG) experiment, which aims to compete with torsion balances using an instrument design also capable of being converted into a much higher sensitivity space test. In the present and following articles (Part I and Part II), we demonstrate that the dynamical response of the GGG differential accelerometer set into supercritical rotation—in particular, its normal modes (Part I) and rejection of common mode effects (Part II)—can be predicted by means of a simple but effective model that embodies all the relevant physics. Analytical solutions are obtained under special limits, which provide the theoretical understanding. A simulation environment is set up, obtaining a quantitative agreement with the available experimental data on the frequencies of the normal modes and on the whirling behavior. This is a needed and reliable tool for controlling and separating perturbative effects from the expected signal, as well as for planning the optimization of the apparatus.
Dynamical response of the Galileo Galilei on the ground rotor to test the equivalence principle: Theory, simulation, and experiment. II. The rejection of common mode forces77(2006); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.2173076View Description Hide Description
“Galileo Galilei on the ground” (GGG) is a fast rotating differential accelerometer designed to test the equivalence principle (EP). Its sensitivity to differential effects, such as the effect of an EP violation, depends crucially on the capability of the accelerometer to reject all effects acting in common mode. By applying the theoretical and simulation methods reported in Part I of this work, and tested therein against experimental data, we predict the occurrence of an enhanced common mode rejection of the GGG accelerometer. We demonstrate that the best rejection of common mode disturbances can be tuned in a controlled way by varying the spin frequency of the GGG rotor.