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GAUGE: The GrAnd Unification and Gravity Explorer

Amelino-Camelia, G. and Aplin, K. and Arndt, M. and Barrow, J.D. and Bingham, Robert and Borde, C. and Bouyer, P. and Caldwell, M. and Lockerbie, N.A. and Pegrum, Colin (2009) GAUGE: The GrAnd Unification and Gravity Explorer. Experimental Astronomy, 23 (2). pp. 549-572. ISSN 0922-6435

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Abstract

The GAUGE (GrAnd Unification and Gravity Explorer) mission proposes to use a drag-free spacecraft platform onto which a number of experiments are attached. They are designed to address a number of key issues at the interface between gravity and unification with the other forces of nature. The equivalence principle is to be probed with both a high-precision test using classical macroscopic test bodies, and, to lower precision, using microscopic test bodies via cold-atom interferometry. These two equivalence principle tests will explore string-dilaton theories and the effect of space-time fluctuations respectively. The macroscopic test bodies will also be used for intermediate-range inverse-square law and an axion-like spin-coupling search. The microscopic test bodies offer the prospect of extending the range of tests to also include short-range inverse-square law and spin-coupling measurements as well as looking for evidence of quantum decoherence due to space-time fluctuations at the Planck scale.