Revealing short-range non-Newtonian gravity through Casimir–Polder shielding

Bennett, R. and O'Dell, D.H.J. (2019) Revealing short-range non-Newtonian gravity through Casimir–Polder shielding. New Journal of Physics, 21(3), 033032. (doi: 10.1088/1367-2630/ab0ca6)

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We carry out a realistic, yet simple, calculation of the Casimir–Polder interaction in the presence of a metallic shield in order to aid the design of experiments to test non-Newtonian gravity. In particular, we consider a rubidium atom near a movable silicon slab with a gold film in between. We show that by moving the slab to various distances and making precise measurements of the force exerted on the atom, one could in principle discern the existence of short-range modifications to Newtonian gravity. This avoids the need for a patterned surface where calculations are much harder and for which the probe must be moved laterally at a fixed distance. We also briefly discuss the case where an atomic cloud undergoes Bloch oscillations within an optical lattice created by reflecting a laser off the shield. We find that our scheme has the potential to improve current constraints if relatively modest improvements in atom localisation in optical lattices are made.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:DO thanks the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for funding, and RB thanks the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bennett, Dr Robert
Authors: Bennett, R., and O'Dell, D.H.J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:New Journal of Physics
Publisher:IOP Publishing
ISSN (Online):1367-2630
Published Online:05 March 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in New Journal of Physics 21(3): 033032
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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