A Caltech Library Service

Universal Decoherence under Gravity: A Perspective through the Equivalence Principle

Pang, Belinda H. and Chen, Yanbei and Khalili, Farid Ya. (2016) Universal Decoherence under Gravity: A Perspective through the Equivalence Principle. Physical Review Letters, 117 (9). Art. No. 090401. ISSN 0031-9007. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.090401.

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Pikovski et al. [Nat. Phys. 11, 668 (2015)] show that a composite particle prepared in a pure initial quantum state and propagated in a uniform gravitational field undergoes a decoherence process at a rate determined by the gravitational acceleration. By assuming Einstein’s equivalence principle to be valid, we analyze a physical realization of the (1+1)D thought experiment of Pikovski et al. to demonstrate that the dephasing between the different internal states arises not from gravity but rather from differences in their rest mass, and the mass dependence of the de Broglie wave’s dispersion relation. We provide an alternative view to the situation considered by Pikovski et al., where we propose that gravity plays a kinematic role by providing a relative velocity to the detector frame with respect to the particle; visibility can be easily recovered by giving the screen an appropriate uniform velocity. We then apply this insight to their thought experiment in (1+1)D to draw a direct correspondence, and obtain the same mathematical result for dephasing. We finally propose that dephasing due to gravity may in fact take place for certain modifications to the gravitational potential where the equivalence principle is violated.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Pang, Belinda H.0000-0002-5697-2162
Chen, Yanbei0000-0002-9730-9463
Additional Information:© 2016 American Physical Society. Received 28 March 2016; published 24 August 2016. Y. C. and B. P. are supported by the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, as well as NSF Grants No. PHY-1404569 and No. PHY-1506453. F. K. was supported by the LIGO NSF Grant No. PHY-1305863 and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research Grant No. 14-02-00399. We thank C. Brukner, I. Pikovski, Y. Ma, B. L. Hu, and O. Romero-Isart for exciting discussions.
Group:Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics, Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, LIGO
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Institute for Quantum Information and Matter (IQIM)UNSPECIFIED
Russian Foundation for Basic Research14-02-00399
Issue or Number:9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160824-154241303
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Universal Decoherence under Gravity: A Perspective through the Equivalence Principle Belinda H. Pang, Yanbei Chen, and Farid Ya. Khalili Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 090401
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:69915
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:25 Aug 2016 19:46
Last Modified:11 Nov 2021 04:21

Repository Staff Only: item control page