We report the experimental results of a prototype balance for the Archimedes experiment, devoted to measure the interaction between quantum vacuum energy and gravity. The prototype is a beam balance working at room temperature which shares with the final balance several mechanical and optical components. The balance sensitivity has been tested at the site of the Virgo gravitational wave detector in order to benefit from its quiet environment and control facilities. This allowed also the test of the coherence of the balance data with the Virgo interferometer signal and with the environmental data. In the low-frequency regime, the balance has shown a sensitivity of about 8×10-12Nm/Hz, which is among the best in the world, and it is very promising toward the final Archimedes measurement. In the high-frequency region, above a few Hz, relying on the behavior of the balance as a rotational sensor, the ground tilt has been measured in view of the next work devoted to Newtonian noise subtraction (NNS) in Virgo. The measured ground tilt reaches a minimum of about 8×10-11rad/Hz in the few Hz region and ranges from 10 - 10 to 10-9rad/Hz in the 10–20 Hz region, where a very interesting coherence, at some frequencies, with the Virgo interferometer signal is shown.

Original languageEnglish
Article number335
Pages (from-to)1-14
JournalEuropean Physical Journal Plus
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2021


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