General Relativity and Gravitation

, Volume 36, Issue 10, pp 2351-2372

Whispering Gallery Resonators and Tests of Lorentz Invariance

  • Peter WolfAffiliated withBNM-SYRTE, Observatoire de ParisBureau International des Poids et Mesures
  • , Michael E. TobarAffiliated withSchool of Physics, University of Western Australia
  • , Sébastien BizeAffiliated withBNM-SYRTE, Observatoire de Paris
  • , André ClaironAffiliated withBNM-SYRTE, Observatoire de Paris
  • , André N. LuitenAffiliated withSchool of Physics, University of Western Australia
  • , Giorgio SantarelliAffiliated withBNM-SYRTE, Observatoire de Paris

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The frequencies of a cryogenic sapphire oscillator and a hydrogen maser are compared to set new constraints on a possible violation of Lorentz invariance. We give a detailed description of microwave resonators operating in Whispering Gallery modes and then apply it to derive explicit models for Lorentz violating effects in our experiment. Models are calculated in the theoretical framework of Robertson, Mansouri and Sexl (RMS) and in the standard model extension (SME) of Kostelecky and co-workers. We constrain the parameters of the RMS test theory to 1/2 − βMS + δMS = (1.2 ± 2.2) × 10−9 and βMS − αMS − 1 = (1.6 ± 3.0) × 10−7 which is of the same order as the best results from other experiments for the former and represents a 70 fold improvement for the latter. These results correspond to an improvement of our previously published limits [Wolf P. et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 90, 6, 060402, (2003)] by about a factor 2.

Violation of Lorentz invariance equivalence principle