Breakdown of the equivalence between active gravitational mass and energy for a quantum body

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Abstract

We determine active gravitational mass operator of the simplest composite quantum body - a hydrogen atom - within the semiclassical approach to the Einstein equation for a gravitational field. We show that the expectation value of the mass is equivalent to energy for stationary quantum states. On the other hand, it occurs that, for quantum superpositions of stationary states with constant expectation values of energy, the expectation values of the gravitational mass exhibit time-dependent oscillations. This breaks the equivalence between active gravitational mass and energy and can be observed as a macroscopic effect for a macroscopic ensemble of coherent quantum states of the atoms. The corresponding experiment could be the first direct observation of quantum effects in General Relativity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012036
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Volume738
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 5 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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