Symmetron modified gravity: theoretical developments and experimental tests
Benjamin Elder
University of Nottingham
Mardi 26/02/2019, 16h00-17h00
Salle Claude Itzykson, Bât. 774, Orme des Merisiers

The accelerated universe motivates the modification of general relativity, which generically introduces new degrees of freedom. One popular modification is the symmetron, a scalar field which mediates a fifth force. This theory contains a screening mechanism, a property that attenuates the fifth force in dense environments, thereby evading traditional tests of gravity. This property relies on non-linear interactions of the field, which has the unfortunate side-effect of making exact analysis difficult. I will show how exact solutions to the classical equation of motion in 1+1 dimensions may be used to better understand symmetron screening in general. I will then discuss new laboratory tests that are specifically tuned to measure screened theories. In particular I will focus on atom interferometry, which is extremely sensitive and has placed strong constraints on the symmetron's coupling parameters.

Contact : Filippo VERNIZZI


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