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

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5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The simplest quantum composite body, a hydrogen atom, is considered in the presence of a weak external gravitational field. We define an operator for the passive gravitational mass of the atom in the post-Newtonian approximation of the general relativity and show that it does not commute with its energy operator. Nevertheless, the equivalence between the expectation values of the mass and energy is shown to survive at a macroscopic level for stationary quantum states. Breakdown of the equivalence between passive gravitational mass and energy at a microscopic level for stationary quantum states can be experimentally detected by studying unusual electromagnetic radiation, emitted by the atoms, supported by and moving in the Earth's gravitational field with constant velocity, using spacecraft or satellite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012154
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Volume490
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

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equivalence
breakdown
gravitational fields
composite materials
operators
atoms
energy
relativity
hydrogen atoms
electromagnetic radiation
spacecraft
approximation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

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AB - The simplest quantum composite body, a hydrogen atom, is considered in the presence of a weak external gravitational field. We define an operator for the passive gravitational mass of the atom in the post-Newtonian approximation of the general relativity and show that it does not commute with its energy operator. Nevertheless, the equivalence between the expectation values of the mass and energy is shown to survive at a macroscopic level for stationary quantum states. Breakdown of the equivalence between passive gravitational mass and energy at a microscopic level for stationary quantum states can be experimentally detected by studying unusual electromagnetic radiation, emitted by the atoms, supported by and moving in the Earth's gravitational field with constant velocity, using spacecraft or satellite.

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