Han, FT (reprint author), Tsinghua Univ, Dept Precis Instrument, Beijing 100084, Peoples R China.
; Wu Qiu-Ping] Tsinghua Univ, Dept Precis Instrument, Beijing 100084, Peoples R China
; [Zhou Ze-Bing] Huazhong Univ Sci & Technol, Sch Phys, Wuhan 430074, Peoples R China
; [Zhang Yuan-Zhong] Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Theoret Phys, Beijing 100190, Peoples R China
We propose a novel scheme for a space free-fall based test of the new equivalence principle (NEP) with two rotating extended bodies made of the same material. The measurement will be carried out by placing the two concentric spinning masses of very different momenta inside a differential electrostatic accelerometer in a drag-free compensated orbit. A difference in the forces necessary to maintain the common trajectory will be an indication of a violation of equivalence or the existence of spin-spin force between the rotating mass and the Earth. The conceptual design of the inertial sensor and its operation mode is presented. Details specific to the model and performance requirements are discussed by using up-to-date space technologies to test the NEP with an accuracy of better than 10(-15).