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Quantum tests of the Einstein Equivalence Principle with the STE–QUEST space mission


Abstract

We present in detail the scientific objectives in fundamental physics of the Space-Time Explorer and 4. It carries out tests of different aspects of the Einstein Equivalence Principle using atomic clocks, matter wave interferometry and long distance time/frequency links, providing fascinating science at the interface between quantum mechanics and gravitation that cannot be achieved, at that level of precision, in ground experiments. We especially emphasize the specific strong interest of performing equivalence principle tests in the quantum regime, i.e. using quantum atomic wave interferometry. Although STE-QUEST was finally not selected in early 2014 because of budgetary and technological reasons, its science case was very highly rated. Our aim is to expose that science to a large audience in order to allow future projects and proposals to take advantage of the STE-QUEST experience.

Abstract

We present in detail the scientific objectives in fundamental physics of the Space-Time Explorer and 4. It carries out tests of different aspects of the Einstein Equivalence Principle using atomic clocks, matter wave interferometry and long distance time/frequency links, providing fascinating science at the interface between quantum mechanics and gravitation that cannot be achieved, at that level of precision, in ground experiments. We especially emphasize the specific strong interest of performing equivalence principle tests in the quantum regime, i.e. using quantum atomic wave interferometry. Although STE-QUEST was finally not selected in early 2014 because of budgetary and technological reasons, its science case was very highly rated. Our aim is to expose that science to a large audience in order to allow future projects and proposals to take advantage of the STE-QUEST experience.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:12 Mar 2015 08:19
Last Modified:29 May 2016 19:38
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0273-1177
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asr.2014.07.014

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Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)