ABTech Air-Bearing Rotary Table Installed at the South Pole

An ABTech AT400 series air-bearing rotary table with direct drive and a single axis programmable controller was recently installed at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station by Princeton University. This marks the first time an ABTech product has been exported to Antarctica, making it the 7th (and final) continent where our products are being used.

“I just got back from the South Pole last week. Everything there went well. The experiment is now up and running, and the air table is working flawlessly!” – Marc Smiciklas, Post Doctoral Research Associate at Princeton University

Here is an excerpt of the article published online by The Antarctic Sun:

New experiments installed at the South Pole in January

By Jeffrey Donenfeld, South Pole correspondent

The installation of the South Pole Lorentz Invariance Test (SPLIT) is being overseen by Princeton University post-doc Marc Smiciklas for principal investigator Michael Romalis.

SPLIT aims to detect violations in Lorentz Symmetry by measuring the spin of individual atoms of neon inside its bell-jar-enclosed co-magnetometer. Lorentz Symmetry is the fundamental symmetry of the standard model of particle physics, as well as general relativity, which describes gravity.

A violation in this symmetry would suggest that there’s a new element to physics which falls outside of what the current standard model can predict.

The SPLIT apparatus arrived in January. One of the main tasks involved the alignment of the sensitive laser optics. Smiciklas will work with research associate Andrew Vernaza on developing comprehensive maintenance, testing, and operating procedures for the winter.

Here’s a link to the full article: Antarctic Sun South Pole Lorentz Invariance Test (SPLIT) Project. Scroll down to the South Pole section and check out our little write-up.