Thursday, July 13, 2017

How to demonstrate quantum superposition of classical gravitational fields?

There was rather interesting article in Nature (see this) by Marletto and Vedral about the possibility of demonstrating the quantum nature of gravitational fields by using weak measurement of classical gravitational field affecting it only very weakly. There is also an article in arXiv by the same authors (see this). The approach relies on quantum information theory.

The gravitational field would serve as a measurement interaction and the weak measurements would be applied to gravitational witness serving as probe - the technical term is ancilla. Authors claim that weak measurements giving rise to analog of Zeno effect could be used to test whether the quantum superposition of classical gravitational fields (QSGR) does take place. One can however argue that the extreme weakness of gravitation implies that other interactions and thermal perturbations mask it completely in standard physics framework. Also the decoherence of gravitational quantum states could be argued to make the test impossible.

One must however take these objections with a big grain of salt. After all, we do not have a theory of quantum gravity and all assumptions made about quantum gravity might not be correct. For instance, the vision about reduction to Planck length scale might be wrong. There is also the mystery of dark matter, which might force considerable motivation of the views about dark matter. Furthermore, General Relativity itself has conceptual problems: in particular, the classical conservation laws playing crucial role in quantum field theories are lost. Superstrings were a promising candidate for a quantum theory of gravitation but
failed as a physical theory.

In TGD, which was born as an attempt to solve the energy problem of TGD and soon extended to a theory unifying gravitation and standard model interactions and also generalizing string models, the situation might however change. In zero energy ontology (ZEO) the sequence of weak measurements is more or less equivalent to the existence of self identified as generalized Zeno effect! The value of heff/h=n characterizes the flux tubes mediating various interactions and can be very large for gravitational flux tubes (proportional to GMm/v0, where v0<c has dimensions of velocity, and M and m are masses at the ends of the flux tube) with Mm> v0mPl2 (mPl denotes Planck mass) at their ends. This means long coherence time characterized in terms of the scale of causal diamond (CD). The lifetime T of self is proportional to heff so that for gravitational self T is very long as compared to that for electromagnetic self. Selves could correspond sub-selves of self identifiable as sensory mental images so that sensory perception would correspond to weak measurements and for gravitation the times would be long: we indeed feel the gravitational force all the time. Consciousness and life would provide a basic proof for the QSGR (note that large neutron has mass of order Planck mass!).

See the article How to demonstrate quantum superposition of classical gravitational fields? or the chapter Quantum criticality and dark matter of "Hyper-finite factors, p-adic length scale hypothesis, and dark matter hierarchy".

For a summary of earlier postings see Latest progress in TGD.

Articles and other material related to TGD.

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