Tests of Fundamental Physics: Gravity

Conceptualize, design, and perform innovative classical and quantum tests of gravity and improve the results by orders of magnitude.

Contributions to QuantumFrontiers

  • Exploring synergies from diverse test strategies of relativistic effects, equivalence principle, and dark energy searches
  • Fundamental aspects of physical theories, in particular gravity and extended spacetime geometries, are theoretically analysed and experimentally tested
  • Push the limits on relativity tests via Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) to the world’s best levels
  • Tests of the Universality of Free Fall using matter wave interferometry
  • Resolution of the redshift controversy with quantum clock interferometry
  • Constrain, or find evidence for, extended spacetime geometries with torsion, non-metricity, general affine conections, velocity or momentum dependence, by the coupling between quantum systems to these properties of spacetime in the appropriate PN limits
  • Tests of the Newtonian gravitational law on small scales

Collaborative Innovation

Classical Tests

  • Performing sophisticated tests of Einstein's theory of relativity with Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) including theoretical and data analyses (Müller, IfE / Biskupek, IfE / Lämmerzahl, ZARM / Hackmann, ZARM / Pfeifer, ZARM)
    • possible temporal variation of the gravitational constant
    • tests of the equivalence of active and passive mass, o tests of extended spacetime geometry (torsion, non-metricity, affine connections, velocity/momentum dependence)
    • test of the weak and strong equivalence principle, also for dark matter
    • Yukawa test for the Earth-Moon distance
    • estimation of metric parameters gamma, beta and alpha
  • Investigating the 1/r² dependence of gravity via measurements at short distances with micro-machined optomechanical force sensors and levitated nanoparticle-based force sensors (Brand, PTB / Heinzel, AEI / Vogt, ZARM)
  • Testing predictions of relativity with clocks in gravitational fields: gravitational redshift and gravitomagnetism (Herrmann, ZARM / Lämmerzahl, ZARM / Hackmann, ZARM / Philipp, ZARM)
  • Search for Dark Matter through equivalence principle tests in space (Naceur Gaaloul (IfE)) • Testing local Lorentz invariance in the solar system (Pfeifer, ZARM / Hackmann, ZARM)
  • Testing modified/alternative theories of gravity and extended spacetime geometries using astrophysical systems (Lämmerzahl, ZARM / Hackmann, ZARM / Pfeifer, ZARM)

Quantum Tests

  • Testing relativistic effects in matter wave interferometers (Schlippert, IQO / Rasel, IQO / Herrmann, ZARM)
  • Performing quantum tests of the equivalence principle (Schlippert, IQO / Rasel, IQO / Herrmann, IQO)
  • Testing the Universality of Free Fall with Very Long Baseline Atom Interferometry (VLBAI) (Schlippert, IQO / Rasel, IQO)
  • Observing time dilation in atom interferometers by using quantum clock interferometry (Schlippert, IQO / Leizek, IQO)
  • Performing dark energy searches in the Einstein Elevator (Gaaloul, IQO / Schlippert, IQO)
  • Testing of local Lorentz invariance with quantum systems (Schlipper, IQO / Rasel, IQO / Gaaloul, IQO / Herrmann, ZARM / Pfeifer, ZARM)
  • Testing fundamental properties of quantum mechanics, including tests of the interaction of quantum systems with gravitation and extended spacetime geometry (Lämmerzahl, ZARM / Rätzel, ZARM / Schlippert, IQO / Gaaloul, IQO / Pfeifer, ZARM / Hackmann, ZARM)

Scientific Output

  • Publications
    Herbst A, Estrampes T, Albers H, Vollenkemper V, Stolzenberg K, Bode S et al. High-flux source system for matter-wave interferometry exploiting tunable interactions. Physical Review Research. 2024 Feb 2;6(1):013139. doi: 10.1103/physrevresearch.6.013139
    Herbst A, Estrampes T, Albers H, Corgier R, Stolzenberg K, Bode S et al. Matter-wave collimation to picokelvin energies with scattering length and potential shape control. Communications Physics. 2024 Apr 25;7(1):132. doi: 10.1038/s42005-024-01621-w
    Lämmerzahl C, Perlick V. Potentials for general-relativistic geodesy. Physical Review D. 2024 Feb 14;109(4):044028. doi: 10.1103/physrevd.109.044028
    Morais PH, Lobo IP, Pfeifer C, Alves batista R, Bezerra VB. Modified particle lifetimes as a signature of deformed relativity. Physics Letters B. 2024 Jan;848:138380. Epub 2023 Dec 6. doi: 10.1016/j.physletb.2023.138380
    Bahamonde S, Doneva DD, Ducobu L, Pfeifer C, Yazadjiev SS. Distinctive features of hairy black holes in teleparallel Gauss-Bonnet gravity. Physical Review D. 2023 Sept 25;108(6):064044. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevD.108.064044
    Bahamonde S, Dialektopoulos KF, Hohmann M, Said JL, Pfeifer C, Saridakis EN. Perturbations in non-flat cosmology for f(T) gravity. European Physical Journal C. 2023 Mar 6;83(3):193. doi: 10.1140/epjc/s10052-023-11322-3
    Bahamonde S, Doneva DD, Ducobu L, Pfeifer C, Yazadjiev SS. Spontaneous scalarization of black holes in Gauss-Bonnet teleparallel gravity. Physical Review D. 2023 May 8;107(10):104013. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevD.107.104013
    Cieślik A, Hackmann E, Mach P. Kerr geodesics in terms of Weierstrass elliptic functions. Physical Review D. 2023 Jul 24;108(2):024056. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevD.108.024056
    Heefer S, Pfeifer C, Reggio A, Fuster A. A Cosmological unicorn solution to Finsler gravity. Physical Review D. 2023 Sept 15;108(6):064051. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevD.108.064051
    Lobo IP, Pfeifer C. Muon accelerators—muon lifetime measurements as window to Planck scale physics. Classical and quantum gravity. 2023 Nov 30;41(1):015008. doi: 10.1088/1361-6382/ad0e82
    Pfeiffer C, Lämmerzahl C. Modified and Quantum Gravity: From Theory to Experimental Searches on All Scales. 2023. (Modified and Quantum Gravity).
    Singh VV, Müller J, Biskupek L, Hackmann E, Lämmerzahl C. Equivalence of Active and Passive Gravitational Mass Tested with Lunar Laser Ranging. Physical Review Letters. 2023 Jul 14;131(2):021401. Epub 2023 Jul 13. doi: 10.48550/arXiv.2212.09407, 10.1103/PhysRevLett.131.021401
    Voicu N, Cheraghchi S, Pfeifer C. Birkhoff theorem for Berwald-Finsler spacetimes. Physical Review D. 2023 Nov 27;108(10):104060. doi: 10.48550/arXiv.2306.07866, 10.1103/PhysRevD.108.104060
    Voicu N, Friedl-Szász A, Popovici-Popescu E, Pfeifer C. The Finsler Spacetime Condition for (α,β)-Metrics and Their Isometries. Universe. 2023 Apr 20;9(4):198. doi: 10.3390/universe9040198
    Albers H, Corgier R, Herbst A, Rajagopalan A, Schubert C, Vogt C et al. All-optical matter-wave lens using time-averaged potentials. Communications Physics. 2022 Mar 16;5(1):60. doi: 10.48550/arXiv.2109.08608, 10.1038/s42005-022-00825-2
    Bahamonde S, Golovnev A, Guzmán M, Said JL, Pfeifer C. Black holes in f(T,B) gravity: exact and perturbed solutions. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics. 2022 Jan 19;2022(1):037. 037. doi: 10.1088/1475-7516/2022/01/037
    Bahamonde S, Faraji S, Hackmann E, Pfeifer C. Thick accretion disk configurations in the Born-Infeld teleparallel gravity. Physical Review D. 2022 Oct 26;106(8):084046. doi: 10.1103/physrevd.106.084046
    Barzel R, Gündoğan M, Krutzik M, Rätzel D, Lämmerzahl C. Entanglement dynamics of photon pairs and quantum memories in the gravitational field of the earth. Quantum. 2022 Sept 5;8. doi: 10.22331/q-2024-02-29-1273
    Ben-Salem B, Hackmann E. Propagation time delay and frame dragging effects of lightlike geodesics in the timing of a pulsar orbiting SgrA∗. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 2022 Oct 1;516(2):1768-1780. doi: 10.1093/mnras/stac2337
    Herbst A, Albers H, Stolzenberg K, Bode S, Schlippert D. Rapid generation of all-optical K39 Bose-Einstein condensates using a low-field Feshbach resonance. Physical Review A. 2022 Oct 21;106(4):043320. doi: 10.1103/physreva.106.043320
    Laanemets D, Hohmann M, Pfeifer C. Observables from spherically symmetric modified dispersion relations. International Journal of Geometric Methods in Modern Physics. 2022 Sept 15;19(10):2250155. doi: 10.1142/S0219887822501559
    Singh VV, Biskupek L, Müller J, Zhang M. Earth rotation parameter estimation from LLR. Advances in Space Research. 2022 Oct 15;70(8):2383-2398. Epub 2022 Jul 22. doi: 10.1016/j.asr.2022.07.038
    Spengler F, Rätzel D, Braun D. Perspectives of measuring gravitational effects of laser light and particle beams. New journal of physics. 2022 May 10;24(5):053021. doi: 10.1088/1367-2630/ac5372
    Zhang M, Müller J, Biskupek L, Singh VV. Characteristics of differential lunar laser ranging. Astronomy and Astrophysics. 2022 Mar;659:A148. doi: 10.1051/0004-6361/202142841
    Biskupek L, Müller J, Torre JM. Benefit of new high-precision llr data for the determination of relativistic parameters. Universe. 2021 Feb 3;7(2):34. doi: 10.3390/universe7020034, 10.15488/12418
    Deppner C, Herr W, Cornelius M, Stromberger P, Sternke T, Grzeschik C et al. Collective-Mode Enhanced Matter-Wave Optics. Physical review letters. 2021 Sept 3;127(10):100401. Epub 2021 Aug 30. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.127.100401
    Frye K, Abend S, Bartosch W, Bawamia A, Becker D, Blume H et al. The Bose-Einstein Condensate and Cold Atom Laboratory. EPJ Quantum Technology. 2021 Jan 4;8(1):1. doi: 10.1140/epjqt/s40507-020-00090-8, 10.15488/10339
    Gebbe M, Siemß JN, Gersemann M, Müntinga H, Herrmann S, Lämmerzahl C et al. Twin-lattice atom interferometry. Nature Communications. 2021 May 5;12(1):2544. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-22823-8
    Hensel T, Loriani S, Schubert C, Fitzek F, Abend S, Ahlers H et al. Inertial sensing with quantum gases: a comparative performance study of condensed versus thermal sources for atom interferometry. European Physical Journal D. 2021 Mar 22;75:108. doi: 10.1140/epjd/s10053-021-00069-9
    List M, Lämmerzahl C. Das Äquivalenzprinzip: Grundlagen, Tests und neueste Messungen. Springer, 2021.
    Pfeifer C, Schuster S. Static spherically symmetric black holes in weak f (T)-gravity. Universe. 2021;7(5):153. doi: 10.3390/universe7050153
    Roura A, Schubert C, Schlippert D, Rasel EM. Measuring gravitational time dilation with delocalized quantum superpositions. Physical Review D. 2021 Oct 1;104(8):084001. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevD.104.084001
    Singh VV, Biskupek L, Müller J, Zhang M. Impact of non-tidal station loading in LLR. Advances in space research. 2021 Jun 15;67(12):3925-3941. Epub 2021 Mar 26. doi: 10.48550/arXiv.2012.05831, 10.1016/j.asr.2021.03.018
    Zhong L, Sośnica K, Weigelt M, Liu B, Zou X. Time-Variable Gravity Field from the Combination of HLSST and SLR. Remote sensing. 2021 Sept 2;13(17):3491. doi: 10.3390/rs13173491
    Albers H, Herbst A, Richardson LL, Heine H, Nath D, Hartwig J et al. Quantum test of the Universality of Free Fall using rubidium and potassium. European Physical Journal D. 2020 Jul 7;74(7):145. doi: 10.48550/arXiv.2003.00939, 10.1140/epjd/e2020-10132-6
    Canuel B, Abend S, Amaro-Seoane P, Badaracco F, Beaufils Q, Bertoldi A et al. ELGAR: a European Laboratory for Gravitation and Atom-interferometric Research. Classical and Quantum Gravity. 2020 Oct 28;37(22):225017. doi: 10.48550/arXiv.1911.03701, 10.1088/1361-6382/aba80e
    Corgier R, Loriani S, Ahlers H, Posso-Trujillo K, Schubert C, Rasel EM et al. Interacting quantum mixtures for precision atom interferometry. New Journal of Physics. 2020 Dec 11;22(12):123008. doi: 10.1088/1367-2630/abcbc8
    Hendi SH, Tavakkoli AM, Panahiyan S, Panah BE, Hackmann E. Simulation of geodesic trajectory of charged BTZ black holes in massive gravity. European Physical Journal C. 2020 Jun 1;80(6):524. doi: 10.1140/epjc/s10052-020-8065-9
    Hohmann M, Pfeifer C, Voicu N. Relativistic kinetic gases as direct sources of gravity. Physical Review D. 2020 Jan 15;101(2):024062. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevD.101.024062
    Loriani S, Schubert C, Schlippert D, Ertmer W, Pereira Dos Santos F, Rasel EM et al. Resolution of the colocation problem in satellite quantum tests of the universality of free fall. Physical Review D. 2020 Dec 18;102(12):124043. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevD.102.124043, 10.15488/10647
    Sheoran P, Nandan H, Hackmann E, Nucamendi U, Abebe A. Schwarzschild black hole surrounded by quintessential matter field as an accelerator for spinning particles. Physical Review D. 2020 Sept 16;102(6):064046. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevD.102.064046
    Ufrecht C, Pumpo FD, Friedrich A, Roura A, Schubert C, Schlippert D et al. Atom-interferometric test of the universality of gravitational redshift and free fall. Phys. Rev. Research. 2020 Nov 16;2(4):043240. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevResearch.2.043240
    Zhang M, Müller J, Biskupek L. Test of the equivalence principle for galaxy’s dark matter by lunar laser ranging. Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy. 2020 May 14;132(4):25. doi: 10.1007/s10569-020-09964-6
    Hackmann E, Dhani A. The propagation delay in the timing of a pulsar orbiting a supermassive black hole. General relativity and gravitation. 2019 Mar 1;51(3):37. doi: 10.1007/s10714-019-2517-2
    Müller J, Murphy TW, Schreiber U, Shelus PJ, Torre JM, Williams JG et al. Lunar Laser Ranging: A tool for general relativity, lunar geophysics and Earth science. Journal of geodesy. 2019 Nov;93(11):2195-2210. Epub 2019 Sept 17. doi: 10.1007/s00190-019-01296-0
    Schubert C, Schlippert D, Abend S, Giese E, Roura A, Schleich WP et al. Scalable, symmetric atom interferometer for infrasound gravitational wave detection. 2019. Epub 2019. doi: 10.48550/arXiv.1909.01951
    Zajaček M, Tursunov A, Eckart A, Britzen S, Hackmann E, Karas V et al. Constraining the charge of the Galactic centre black hole. Journal of Physics: Conference Series. 2019 Oct 21;1258(1):012031. doi: 10.1088/1742-6596/1258/1/012031

Members and Competences

  • Involved Members and their Relevant Expertise
    Members Institution Relevant Expertise
    Eva Hackmann, Leader ZARM Tests of GR and of alternative/modified theories of gravity
    Claus Lämmerzahl ZARM Quantum Sensors in Free Fall; Relativistic Geodesy; Quantum Objects in Gravity
    Florian Seemann ZARM Quantum Sensors in Free Fall
    Roy Barzel ZARM Quantum Objects in Gravity
    Jürgen Müller LUH Relativistic Geodesy; LLR Relativity Test; Application of Quantum Gravimetry
    Liliane Biskupek LUH LLR Relativity Test
    Ernst M. Rasel LUH Quantum Gravimeters; Atom-Chip Based Gravimeters and Inertial Sensors
    Uwe Brand PTB Experimental investigation of the Gravitational 1/r2 Law at separations down to sub-µm
    Gerhard Heinzel AEI Experimental investigation of the Gravitational 1/r2 Law at separations down to sub-µm
    Christian Pfeifer ZARM General relativity, Quantum Gravity Phenomenology
    Sven Herrmann ZARM microgravity experiments
    Christian Vogt ZARM microgravity experiments
    Dennis Philipp ZARM  
    Mingyue Zhang LUH  
    Naceur Gaaloul LUH  
    Christian Schubert LUH  
    Dennis Schlippert LUH  
    Dennis Rätzel ZARM Tests of GR and modified gravity, Quantum Objects in Gravity
    Sven Abend LUH  
    Marian Cepok ZARM  
    Ekim Hanimeli ZARM  
    Shokoufe Faraji ZARM  
    Emanuel Schlake ZARM