This paper describes the preliminary measurement of the Newtonian gravitational constant G with the angular acceleration feedback method at HUST. The apparatus has been built, and preliminary measurement performed, to test all aspects of the experimental design, particularly the feedback function, which was recently discussed in detail by Quan et al. The experimental results show that the residual twist angle of the torsion pendulum at the signal frequency introduces 0.4 ppm to the value of G. The relative uncertainty of the angular acceleration of the turntable is approximately 100 ppm, which is mainly limited by the stability of the apparatus. Therefore, the experiment has been modified with three features: (i) the height of the apparatus is reduced almost by half, (ii) the aluminium shelves were replaced with shelves made from ultra-low expansion material and (iii) a perfect compensation of the laboratory-fixed gravitational background will be carried out. With these improvements, the angular acceleration is expected to be determined with an uncertainty of better than 10 ppm, and a reliable value of G with 20 ppm or below will be obtained in the near future.
Keywords: Newtonian gravitational constant; angular acceleration; torsion balance; turntable.
© 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
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