Fisher information and the weak equivalence principle of a quantum particle in a gravitational wave

Journal: European Physical Journal C

Published: 2020-10-01

DOI: 10.1140/epjc/s10052-020-08530-6

Affiliations: 2

Authors: 1

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Research Highlight

Quantum particle in gravitational wave breaks classical principle



A key principle that undergirds classical mechanics doesn’t hold for a quantum particle experiencing a gravitational wave.

A clear principle in classical physics is that, regardless of their masses, all particles will follow the same path when falling under gravity. But things get much more murky in the domain of the very small, where the rules of quantum physics hold sway, and there has been much debate as to whether the principle holds there.

Now, a theoretical physicist at the University of Adelaide in Australia has calculated that the principled can be violated by a quantum particle, although only when it is bobbing in the ripples of a gravitational wave. First detected in 2015, gravitational waves are generated when massive objects such as neutron stars and black holes collide.

This finding could be used in the future to create gravitational-wave detectors that are more sensitive than today’s ones.

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  1. European Physical Journal C 80, 987 (2020). doi: 10.1140/epjc/s10052-020-08530-6
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The University of Adelaide (Adelaide Uni), Australia 1