Studying the Question of Quantum Gravity

Quantum controlled solids

Points to note…

+  Researchers are pushing the boundary between classical and quantum physics — levitating and cooling glass nanobeads into a quantum state.

“One strong motivation is to push these experiments much further into the regime of large masses,” he concludes. “In that way, we may one day be able to experimentally address the question ‘how does a quantum system gravitate?’”

+  Laser-cooling a minuscule glass nanoparticle — thousands of times smaller than a grain of sand — bringing it into a quantum state has allowed researchers the probe the fuzzy boundary that exists between quantum and classical physics. Whilst by everyday standards the particle the team were able to manipulate is tiny, it has the density of a solid object and is millions of times larger and more complex than the atomic-objects like single atoms, ion and molecules that have traditionally used to investigate ‘quantum motion.’ The team consisted of physicists from institutes including the University of Vienna and MIT, their research is published in the journal Science.

+  The hope is that such experiments could open up the possibility of macroscopic quantum states that involve large mass. Just as is the case with Bose-Einstein condensates, these quantum states could become incredibly useful in the development of quantum technology and quantum computers.

+  “This will be interesting in the future when we want to increase the mass of our objects even more and study quantum effects of systems with a large mass,” says Aspelmeyer. “Also, in a solid, all atoms are bound to move together. This means that a solid forces all of its atoms to be in one place.

Source:  M.  Robert Lea,  Quantum controlled solids…

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