Breakdown of the equivalence between gravitational mass and energy for a quantum body: Theory and suggested experiments

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Abstract

In this paper, we review recent theoretical results, obtained for the equivalence between gravitational mass and energy of a composite quantum body as well as for its breakdown at macroscopic and microscopic levels. In particular, we discuss that the expectation values of passive and active gravitational mass operators are equivalent to the expectation value of energy for electron stationary quantum states in hydrogen atom. On the other hand, for superpositions of the stationary quantum states, inequivalence between the gravitational masses and energy appears at a macroscopic level. It reveals itself as time-dependent oscillations of the expectation values of passive and active gravitational masses, which can be, in principle, experimentally measured. Inequivalence between passive gravitational mass and energy at a microscopic level can be experimentally observed as unusual electromagnetic radiation, emitted by a macroscopic ensemble of the atoms. We propose the corresponding experiment, which can be done on the Earth's orbit, using small spacecraft. If such experiment is done it would be the first direct observation of quantum effects in general relativity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1530027
JournalInternational Journal of Modern Physics D
Volume24
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

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Keywords

  • Mass-energy equivalence
  • equivalence principle
  • quantum gravity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematical Physics
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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