Development of a micromechanical proof-of-principle experiment for measuring the gravitational force of milligram masses
The presented research addresses a simple question: how small can one make a gravitational source mass and still detect its gravitational coupling to a nearby test mass? I describe an experimental scheme based on micromechanical sensing to observe gravity between milligram-scale source masses, thereby improving the current smallest source mass values by three orders of magnitude and possibly even more. Further, I discuss the implications of such measurements both for improved precision measurements of Newton's constant and for a new generation of experiments at the interface between quantum physics and gravity.
Michèle Heurs, Leibnitz Universität Hannover, Albert-Einstein-Institut, D (reviewer)
Hartmut Abele, Technische Universität Wien, Atominstitut, A (examiner)
Piotr Chrusciel, Universität Wien, A (examiner)
Markus Aspelmeyer (supervisor)
Thomas Pichler (chair)