Gravitational bar detectors set limits to Planck-scale physics on macroscopic variables

Year: 2013

Authors: Marin F., Marino F., Bonaldi M., Cerdonio M., Conti L., Falferi P., Mezzena R., Ortolan A., Prodi G. A., Taffarello L., Vedovato G., Vinante A., Zendri J.P.

Autors Affiliation: Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Firenze, Via Sansone 1, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy.
Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), Sezione di Firenze, Via Sansone 1, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy.
European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy (LENS), Via Carrara 1, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy.
CNR-Istituto dei Sistemi Complessi, Via Madonna del Piano 10, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy.
Institute of Materials for Electronics and Magnetism, Nanoscience-Trento-FBK Division, I-38123 Trento, Italy.
INFN, Gruppo Collegato di Trento, I-38123 Povo, Trento, Italy.
INFN, Sezione di Padova, via Marzolo 8, I-35131 Padova, Italy.
Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie, CNR—Fondazione Bruno Kessler, I-38123 Povo, Trento, Italy.
Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Trento, I-38123 Povo, Trento, Italy.
INFN, Laboratori Nazionali di Legnaro, I-35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy.
Leiden Institute of Physics, Niels Bohrweg 2, 2333 CA Leiden, The Netherlands.

Abstract: Different approaches to quantum gravity, such as string theory and loop quantum gravity, as well as doubly special relativity and gedanken experiments in black-hole physics,
all indicate the existence of a minimal measurable length of the order of the Planck length. This observation has motivated the proposal of generalized uncertainty relations, which imply changes in the energy spectrum of quantum systems. As a consequence, quantum gravitational effects could be revealed by experiments able to test deviations from standard quantum mechanics, such as those recently proposed on macroscopic mechanical oscillators. Here we exploit the sub-millikelvin cooling of the normal modes of the ton-scale gravitational wave detector AURIGA, to place an upper limit for possible Planck-scale modifications on the ground-state energy of an oscillator. Our analysis calls for the development of a satisfactory treatment of multi-particle states in the framework of quantum gravity models.

Journal/Review: NATURE PHYSICS

Volume: 9      Pages from: 71  to: 73

KeyWords: Quantum Gravity Phenomenology; Gravitational bar detectors;
DOI: 10.1038/nphys2503

Citations: 75
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