Quantum Optics Seminar: Gravitational time dilation in matter wave interference of composite systems

Igor Pikovski
Gravity and quantum physics are usually relevant at vastly different scales.

May 21, 2021

Igor Pikovski
Group seminar via Zoom
Fri 21. May 2021, 10:00 am (MEZ)

Abstract:


Gravity and quantum physics are usually relevant at vastly different scales. Nevertheless, the dynamics of quantum systems can be affected by gravity, with experimentally accessible signatures. The effect of Newtonian gravity on matter-waves has been measured in experiments, such as in in neutron and atom interferometry. However, effects of space-time beyond the Newtonian limit remain entirely untested in the quantum regime. In this talk I will discuss the concept of "proper time interferometery" which can probe this limit in near future experiments. I will show how general relativistic time dilation affects the dynamics of matter-waves, resulting in signatures such as entanglement and changes in the quantum coherence of composite quantum systems. I will also briefly discuss how the passive gravitational mass arises for such systems, resolving a long-standing conundrum in general relativity. The results show how novel effects arise at the interface between low-energy quantum theory and general relativity and how they can be probed in experiments.

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