I will discuss the possibility that the nature of the dark energy driving the observed acceleration of the Universe on giga-parsec scales may be determined first through metre scale laboratory based atom interferometry experiments. I will begin by discussing why our attempts to solve the cosmological constant problem lead to the introduction of new, light degrees of freedom. In order to be compatible with fifth force constraints these fields must have a screening mechanism to hide their effects dynamically. However, this doesn't mean that they are impossible to detect. I will discuss the constraints that arise from a range of laboratory experiments from precision atomic spectroscopy to collier physics. Finally I will show that atom-interferometry experiments are ideally suited to detect a large class of the screening mechanisms known as chameleon. This will then allow us to either rule out large regions of the chameleon parameter space or to detect the force due to the dark energy field in the laboratory.
La conférence est pour tout public et le café est servi dès 11h30.