A New Apparatus for Detecting Micron-Scale Deviations from Newtonian Gravity

Astronomy and Astrophysics – Astrophysics – General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology

Scientific paper

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20 pages, 24 figures. Added references, edited discussion for clarity

Scientific paper

10.1103/PhysRevD.77.062006

We describe the design and construction of a new apparatus for detecting or constraining deviations from Newtonian gravity at short length scales. The apparatus consists of a new type of probe with rotary mass actuation and cantilever-based force detection which is used to directly measure the force between two micromachined masses separated by tens of microns. We present the first data from the experiment, and discuss the prospects of more precisely constraining or detecting non-Newtonian effects using this probe. Currently, the sensitivity to attractive mass-dependent forces is equal to the best existing limits at length scales near 5 microns. No non-Newtonian effects are detected at that level.

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