A validity test of E = m ⋅ c2
Institut Laue-Langevin, 6 rue Jules Horowitz, BP. 156, 38042 Grenoble, France
2 Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Bundesallee 100, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany
Corresponding author: email@example.com
The comparison of mass and energy variation in a nuclear reaction allows an experimental verification of Einstein's energy - mass equivalence principle. Mass measurements are performed in a high precision Penning trap and yield values in unified atomic mass units. The energies of emitted gamma radiation are determined via Laue-diffraction with perfect crystals. The according values of the gamma ray wave lengths are expressed in units of the crystal lattice constant. The comparison of masses and wave lengths requires a conversion factor, which represents the unified atomic mass unit within the SI unit system. The latter is given by the molar Planck constant NAh, which itself is known via its relation to the fine structure constant. In the present paper we report on measurements carried out until 2003 with an uncertainty level of 4 ⋅ 10-7. We discuss the main limitations of these experiments and outline the possibilities for future measurements at the 10-8 level. Such measurements would allow a direct representation of the unified atomic mass unit in terms of a Compton frequency and are of utmost importance for a future re-definition of the kilogram mass unit.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, 2009