Equivalence Principle Paper Presented at the 2002 World Space Congress

The paper "Advances In The Development Of The Experiment To Test The Equivalence Principle In An Einstein Elevator" with authors E.C. Lorenzini, I.I. Shapiro, S. Glashow, P.N. Cheimets, C. Bombardelli, V Iafolla and S. Nozzoli was presented at the World Space Congress in Houston.

The paper reports the advances in the development of an experiment to test the Equivalence Principle in free fall inside a capsule released from a stratospheric balloon (Einstein elevator). A sensitive instrument (differential accelerometer) is utilized to measure the differential rate of fall of two test masses of different compositions. The accuracy goal of the experiment is a few parts in 10^15 which will improve the present results in testing the Equivalence Principle by two orders of magnitude. The paper presents a detailed analysis of the effects of gravity forces inside the capsule (in particular their spatial gradients) on the experiment accuracy. The results of the analysis are utilized to design a capsule with a mass distribution suitable to meet the accuracy goal.

The paper will eventually appear in Advances in Space Research (subject to COSPAR time table).