University of Birmingham > Talks@bham > Astrophysics Seminars > Testing Modified Gravity at the Saddle Point with LISA Pathfinder

Testing Modified Gravity at the Saddle Point with LISA Pathfinder

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  • UserChristian Trenkel (Astrium)
  • ClockWednesday 08 May 2013, 14:00-15:00
  • HouseMuirhead 112.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Ilya Mandel.

It has now been known for around 80 years that the observed galactic rotation curves cannot be explained assuming just the visible mass and our standard theory of gravitation. Despite concentrated efforts, the direct search for Dark Matter remains largely fruitless, and various proposals to modify the laws of gravitation have been put forward over the last decades. The difficulty with these proposals is that almost by definition, significant deviations from standard gravitation are predicted only in extreme environments outside the Solar System, seemingly beyond the reach of direct experimentation. However, some of the proposed models predict potentially measureable effects around gravitational saddle points inside the Solar System. It has been pointed out that LISA Pathfinder could in principle be re-directed to the Sun-Earth Saddle Point, following its nominal mission. The sensitivity of the gravity gradiometer on board appears sufficient to subject some of the theoretical models to quite a stringent, controlled experimental test. This talk discusses the progress that has been made on establishing the feasibility and significance of such a direct test.

This talk is part of the Astrophysics Seminars series.

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