On quantum gravity tests with composite particles

Public Time: 2020-08-06 00:00:00
Journal: Nature Communications
doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-17518-5
Author: Shreya P. Kumar;Martin B. Plenio
Summary: Models of quantum gravity imply a fundamental revision of our description of position and momentum that manifests in modifications of the canonical commutation relations. Experimental tests of such modifications remain an outstanding challenge. These corrections scale with the mass of test particles, which motivates experiments using macroscopic composite particles. Here we consider a challenge to such tests, namely that quantum gravity corrections of canonical commutation relations are expected to be suppressed with increasing number of constituent particles. Since the precise scaling of this suppression is unknown, it needs to be bounded experimentally and explicitly incorporated into rigorous analyses of quantum gravity tests. We analyse this scaling based on data from past experiments involving macroscopic pendula, and provide tight bounds that exceed those of current experiments based on quantum mechanical oscillators. Furthermore, we discuss possible experiments that promise even stronger bounds thus bringing rigorous and well-controlled tests of quantum gravity closer to reality.
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