Date of Award

Summer 8-15-2016

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



This thesis describes the development of a torsion balance experiment designed to test Einstein's equivalence principle with unprecedented sensitivity, while also taking a novel approach to directly observe the normal mode torsional oscillations of the Earth. Accordingly, a model of the signal expected from a potential equivalence principle violation has been developed, as well as a multi-slit auto-collimating optical lever which possesses a resolution on the order of a nanoradian and a range of observation of 10 milliradians and is used to monitor the torsion balance. A torsion balance with a natural torsional frequency of ~104 Hz, signi_cantly below the frequency of the longest of the Earth's normal modes, was designed, built, and operated in a remote laboratory at Washington University's Tyson Research Center. More than 1800 hours of data was collected and used to evaluate the performance of this prototype instrument and characterize the conditions in the Tyson laboratory.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Ramanath Cowsik

Committee Members

Martin H. Israel, Francesc Ferrer, Sndor J. Kovcs, Henric Krawczynski,


Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.7936/K7GH9G73

Included in

Physics Commons