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Home > What is IQFA ? > Involved laboratories > Paris & metropolitan area > Laboratoire Systèmes de Référence Temps-Espace (SYRTE)

Theory and Metrology

by Sebastien_Tanzilli - published on

Main contact : Peter Wolf
Other contacts : Marie-Christine Angonin
Pacôme Delva
Christine Guerlin
Christophe Le Poncin Lafitte
Frédéric Meynadier

Research activities:

We carry out research along two, closely related, axes:

  • Modelling of experiments and astronomical observations in general relativity (GR) and the standard model (SM) of particle physics, and more generally in theoretical frameworks beyond GR and SM. A large part of this concerns the modelling of quantum systems (clocks, atom-interferometers) in gravitational contexts.
  • Using experimental results from the SYRTE quantum sensors and other sources to test GR and SM, and in particular their foundations like e.g. the equivalence principle or Lorentz invariance.

More generally we investigate possibilities of using the quantum metrological expertise and results of SYRTE to carry out experiments and data analysis in fundamental physics, by either using the data available from “routine” operation (e.g. clock comparison data, atom interferometry data, VLBI data, Lunar Laser Ranging data) or by suggesting novel ways of using cold atom technology (e.g. spin polarized clock operation, trapped atom interferometry for short range force measurements, …).

We provide the main scientific data analysis center for the ACES/PHARAO space mission, and are also involved in data analysis of other space missions (GAIA, Microscope) or in proposals of new missions e.g. STE-QUEST, that use quantum metrology. We also use data from global navigation satellite systems (Galileo in particular) to test the fundamental laws of nature.

Finally, we have some activity on new applications of optical atomic clocks and time transfer links (fibre or free space) for geodesy/geophysics and, in the longer term, fundamental physics and high performance space-ground clock comparisons.

For more information: see online Theory and Metrology @ SYRTE