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Measurable signatures of quantum mechanics in a classical spacetime

Helou, Bassam and Luo, Jun and Yeh, Hsien-Chi and Shao, Cheng-gang and Slagmolen, B. J. J. and McClelland, David E. and Chen, Yanbei (2017) Measurable signatures of quantum mechanics in a classical spacetime. Physical Review D, 96 (4). Art. No. 044008. ISSN 2470-0010. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.96.044008.

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We propose an optomechanics experiment that can search for signatures of a fundamentally classical theory of gravity and in particular of the many-body Schrödinger-Newton (SN) equation, which governs the evolution of a crystal under a self-gravitational field. The SN equation predicts that the dynamics of a macroscopic mechanical oscillator’s center-of-mass wave function differ from the predictions of standard quantum mechanics [H. Yang, H. Miao, D.-S. Lee, B. Helou, and Y. Chen, Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 170401 (2013)]. This difference is largest for low-frequency oscillators, and for materials, such as tungsten or osmium, with small quantum fluctuations of the constituent atoms around their lattice equilibrium sites. Light probes the motion of these oscillators and is eventually measured in order to extract valuable information on the pendulum’s dynamics. Due to the nonlinearity contained in the SN equation, we analyze the fluctuations of measurement results differently than standard quantum mechanics. We revisit how to model a thermal bath, and the wave-function collapse postulate, resulting in two prescriptions for analyzing the quantum measurement of the light. We demonstrate that both predict features, in the outgoing light’s phase fluctuations’ spectrum, which are separate from classical thermal fluctuations and quantum shot noise, and which can be clearly resolved with state of the art technology.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Luo, Jun0000-0001-5084-2087
Chen, Yanbei0000-0002-9730-9463
Additional Information:© 2017 American Physical Society. Received 6 January 2017; published 9 August 2017. We thank K. Thorne, J. Preskill, P. C. E. Stamp, H. Miao, Y. Ma, C. Savage, and H. Yang for discussions. The research of Y. C. and H. L. is supported by NSF Grants No. PHY-1404569 and PHY-1506453, as well as the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, a Physics Frontier Center.
Group:Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics, Astronomy Department
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Institute for Quantum Information and Matter (IQIM)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170605-082841289
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:77935
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:05 Jun 2017 21:28
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 17:35

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