A few weeks ago, I wrote a brief overview of the South Pole Lorentz Invariance Test in the Antarctic Sun:
A new experiment was installed last month in the station’s Cryogenics Lab, which is being repurposed because there is no longer a need for liquid helium to the super cool the sensors used for certain telescopes.
The installation of the South Pole Lorentz Invariance Test (SPLIT) is being overseen by Princeton University post-doc Marc Smiciklas for principal investigator Michael Romalis .
SPLIT aims to detect violations in Lorentz Symmetry by measuring the spin of individual atoms of neon inside its bell-jar-enclosed co-magnetometer. Lorentz Symmetry is the fundamental symmetry of the standard model of particle physics, as well as general relativity, which describes gravity.
A violation in this symmetry would suggest that there’s a new element to physics which falls outside of what the current standard model can predict.
The SPLIT apparatus arrived in January. One of the main tasks involved alignment of the sensitive laser optics. Smiciklas will work with research associate Andrew Vernaza on developing comprehensive maintenance, testing and operating procedures for the winter.
Here are a few more pics of the apparatus: