Torsion balances with fibres of zero length

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Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

Torsion balances have good immunity to tilt and low rotational stiffness. However precise control of the position of the suspended torsion 'bob' is difficult in the presence of ground vibrations and tilt and this is a limiting factor in applications where Casimir forces or putative non-Newtonian short-range forces are being measured. We describe how the desirable characteristics of torsion balances can be reproduced in a rigid body that is suspended using applied forces rather than a torsion fibre. The suspension system can then provide a more precise control of the degrees of freedom of the suspended body. We apply these ideas to a superconducting levitated torsion balance, developed by the authors, and a generic electrostatic suspension. We present results of preliminary experiments that provide support for our analyses.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1069-1074
JournalPhysics Letters A
Volume382
Issue number16
Early online date21 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2018