Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Best yet test of Lorentz invariance

Date:
October 20, 2010
Source:
Optical Society of America
Summary:
The more crucial a physical law is, the more important it is to keep testing it. One of the most important laws formulated in the last century or so is Albert Einstein's principle of invariance, which says that there is no preferred reference system or orientation in the universe. A hypothetical violation of this principle might come about through the intervention of some not-yet-known force field. The field would manifest itself by the simultaneous violation of three basic symmetries in nature, called CPT: charge conjugation (a symmetry which says that nature treats matter and antimatter alike), parity inversion (which says that nature can't differentiate between left and right), and time inversion (a symmetry which holds that movies of microscopic interactions should look alike even if you reverse the order running from front to back). In other words, looking for violation of Lorentz invariance is equivalent to looking for violations of CPT invariance.

The more crucial a physical law is, the more important it is to keep testing it.

Related Articles


One of the most important laws formulated in the last century or so is Albert Einstein's principle of invariance, which says that there is no preferred reference system or orientation in the universe. A hypothetical violation of this principle might come about through the intervention of some not-yet-known force field. The field would manifest itself by the simultaneous violation of three basic symmetries in nature, called CPT: charge conjugation (a symmetry which says that nature treats matter and antimatter alike), parity inversion (which says that nature can't differentiate between left and right), and time inversion (a symmetry which holds that movies of microscopic interactions should look alike even if you reverse the order running from front to back). In other words, looking for violation of Lorentz invariance is equivalent to looking for violations of CPT invariance.

Michael Romalis and his colleagues at Princeton look for the faint magnetic influence the hypothetical field would have on matter by watching two species of atoms -- potassium and helium-3 -- which are contained in a rotating vessel. The whole lab is of course attached to the Earth, which itself rotates daily and orbits the Sun. All of these motions, carefully accounted for, should leave behind a trace of a difference for the two atomic species if an extra field exists.

The result of the latest round of observations improves by a factor of 30 the constraint on the existence of the hypothetical Lorentz-violating field.

"This is a rather dramatic improvement in CPT and Lorentz tests," says Romalis. "Our new technique also has the potential for much larger improvements in the future, so there are more limits to come."

The presentation, "New Limit on Lorentz and CPT Violation for Neutrons," takes place on Oct. 28 at the Frontiers in Optics (FiO) 2010/Laser Science XXVI -- the 94th annual meeting of the Optical Society (OSA), which is being held together with the annual meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) Division of Laser Science at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center in Rochester, N.Y., from Oct. 24-28.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Optical Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Optical Society of America. "Best yet test of Lorentz invariance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101020195728.htm>.
Optical Society of America. (2010, October 20). Best yet test of Lorentz invariance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101020195728.htm
Optical Society of America. "Best yet test of Lorentz invariance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101020195728.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Magnetic Motors, Not Cables, Power This Elevator

Magnetic Motors, Not Cables, Power This Elevator

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) Imagine an elevator without cables. ThyssenKrupp has drafted an elevator concept that would cruise on linear magnetic motors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins