The Fate of Schrödinger’s Cat Probably Isn’t in The Hands of Gravity, Experiment Finds

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+  A number of physicists have wondered if good old gravity is responsible for forcing the particle equivalent of a roulette ball to settle into its metaphorical pocket. That’s looking a little less likely in the wake of a new experiment.

Researchers from across Europe recently tested a potential explanation of the apparent collapse of a waveform, determined not by observations or weirdly branching multiverses, but by the geometry of spacetime.


+  Kick an electron enough and you’ll force it to cry photons of light. Logically, all that’s left is to create a kind of Schrödinger’s cat experiment by locking the right kind of material inside a lead box, buried far from the confounding effects of radiation, and listen for its cries. That material, in this case, is germanium.

+  If Penrose’s sums are right, a crystal of germanium should generate tens of thousands of photon flashes over several months as its superpositioned particles settle into measured states.+ But Diósi and his team didn’t observe tens of thousands of photons.

+  Over a two month period when they conducted the experiment underground five years ago at INFN Gran Sasso National Laboratory, they measured barely several hundred – just what you’d expect from the radiation that managed to leak through.

+  Penrose isn’t too worried. If gravity were to cause particles to emit radiation on collapse, it might run against the Universe’s tightly controlled laws of thermodynamics, anyway.

+  Of course, this isn’t the end of the story. In future experiments, gravity might yet be shown to be responsible for flattening quantum waves. Right now, anything seems possible.

Source:  science alert.  Mike McRae,  The Fate of Schrödinger’s Cat Probably Isn’t in The Hands of Gravity, Experiment Finds …

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