A Grad Sem About Nothing

Dawson Huth

Null experiments are one of the primary tools physicists use to test new theories of physics. In the specific case of General Relativity it is required that Einstein’s Equivalence Principle is satisfied such that any measurement of the differential accelerations between two objects in the same gravitational field, and of different composition, is zero. However, many theories which unify GR and the Standard Model predict a violation of the EEP at some level. In principle, if one of these theories is correct a non-null measurement of an EEP violation can be made. The first part of this talk will be a general overview of how an EEP violation can be measured and the recent progress I’ve made toward measuring nothing (a null-result). The second portion will cover the more superfluous topic of selected examples of science fiction technology and their manifestations in real life. The discussion presented here will be focused on the physical principles used to turn ideas of sci-fi gadgets, like tractor beams, into real tools we use today (or maybe tomorrow).