Dark energy in the laboratory: aim and scope of the workshop
Since in 1998 it was discovered that our universe expands at an accelerated rate, dark energy has evolved from a niche subject of cosmology to a focus topic of many related fields. Several theories have been devised to unravel the mystery of what the physical mechanisms behind dark energy could be, some of which yield testable predictions. Over the past decade, finally, numerous experiments were realized with the aim to tighten the present limits on the free parameters of these theories. The possible coupling of hypothetical scalar particles to photons has been tested in the GAMMEV/CHASE afterglow experiments and in CAST at CERN. More general interactions have been probed recently by oscillations of a Rb-Bose-Einstein condensate, neutron interferometry, bouncing neutrons, microspheres, and interferometry with Cs atoms, the latter giving the presently tightest bounds on parameters of some hypothetical theories. Many more ground and space based experiments are under construction and will be operational soon, giving hope to finally exclude some theories or find evidence for the actual mechanisms behind dark energy. However, we are not there yet.
This workshop shall give an overview of the most promising theories and the tightest limits experiments are able to set.
It is the basic aim of the meeting to bring together experimentalists and theorists in the field to discuss recent developments and advancements in Earth-based dark energy detection. As the theory of dark energy models is quite vast and complex, there will be hands-on workshops for interested experimentalists to learn more about models and how to obtain useful estimates for the effects predicted by them. Another interactive focus shall be to decide as a community if and how we should apply for an ERC COST action grant.
Ample time is reserved to spur discussions, collaborations, and new ideas.
Contextually, the following topics will be put into the spotlight:
· Dark energy in cosmology
· Scalar particles as a viable explanation?
· Theory explained – cosmology and promising theories for the non-cosmologist
· Modified gravity – an alternative solution?
· Terrestrial tests: Neutrons, Atoms, Molecules, and macroscopic test bodies
· Space tests: Satellite missions coming soon
· ERC Cost action: Should we apply as a community?