Warsaw Spacetime Colloquium: Nick Huggett (8 April on Zoom)

On Friday, 8 April, Nick Huggett (University of Illinois Chicago) will give a talk titled “Gravity meets the Quantum in the Laboratory” (abstract below).

The meeting will be online on Zoom (17:00-19:00 CEST). If you have not registered yet, you can do so here.

You can address any inquiry to antonio.vassallo@pw.edu.pl.


The characteristic – Planck – energy scale of quantum gravity is utterly beyond current technology, making experimental access to the relevant physics apparently impossible. Nevertheless, low energy experiments linking gravity and the quantum have been undertaken: the Page and Geilker quantum Cavendish experiment, and the Colella-Overhauser-Werner neutron interferometry experiment, say. However, neither probes states in which gravity remains in a coherent quantum superposition – unlike recent proposals that have created considerable interest among physicists. In essence, if two initially unentangled systems interacting solely via gravity become entangled, then, according to a simple theorem of quantum mechanics, gravity must quantum. Clearly there are formidable challenges to creating such a system, but remarkably, tabletop technology into the gravitational fields of very small bodies has advanced to the point that such an experiment might be feasible in the next several years. In this talk I will explain the proposal and what it aims to show, highlighting the important ways in which it is theory-laden. (Drawn from joint work with Niels Linnemann and Mike Schneider.)