Testing the Equivalence Principle
From the basis of General Relativity to a key to Quantum
Paris, 19 September 2011
The Einstein Equivalence Principle (EP) is
probably the most
fundamental postulate of physics. It is in particular the founding
principle of general relativity and more generally the basic postulate
of all geometric theories of gravitation. This central position has
resulted in experimental tests of its different aspects (universality
of free fall, universality of clock rates, Lorentz invariance) by
numerous experiments with ever increasing precision making it one the
best established postulates of physics today. However, most attempts at
unification of general relativity and the standard model of particle
physics lead to a violation of the EP, that would manifest itself in
experimental tests. It is thus essential to pursue such tests with
increasing precision and over a broad range of different experiments,
as this provides one of the most accessible experimental windows to
physics beyond the standard model.
In this aim several space experiments are
being proposed to drive the uncertainty of EP tests below the levels
achievable in ground experiments. The most advanced of these is clearly
the MICROSCOPE project, a joined CNES-DLR-ESA mission that is planned
for launch in 2015-16 and is expected to improve present limits on a
possible violation of the universality of free fall (a central EP test)
by at least two orders of magnitude. All technological challenges
concerning the satellite and payload have been overcome and the mission
is now ready to enter the final construction and assembly phase,
waiting only for the "go-ahead" of the involved agencies.
The aim of this colloquium is to bring
together leading researchers and all interested scientists in this area
of fundamental physics, in order to present recent theoretical and
experimental developments concerning tests of the EP, and to discuss a
way forward towards improvements of experimental tests in ground and in
space, and thus new insights into physics beyond general relativity and
the standard model.
Theoretical Motivations for tests of
the weak equivalence principle (WEP)
Speakers: T. Damour, C. Cohen-Tannoudji, C.
Ways of testing WEP
Speakers: J. Gundlach, T.
Sumner, E. Rasel, A. Landragin
Microscope: Status and Context
Speakers: P. Touboul, H. Selig,
D. Hagedorn, A. Atzei, H. Dittus, S. Léon
Round table discussion
The participation to the colloquium is
Approximate duration is 9:00 to 17:00.
register by means of this FORM.
Registration deadline: 15 September
Location and venue
The conference will be located at ONERA
in Palaiseau, 20 km south of Paris (click on the link for more
to Onera, attendees will be asked to present their identity documents.
Please, non-EU citizens must send their bio data (place and date of
birth, nationality, passport no.) in advance to
Some financial supports for travel is
available ; please contact the
organizers if needed.
Last update 16 September
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