Breakdown of the equivalence between gravitational mass and energy due to quantum effects

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3 Scopus citations

Abstract

We review our recent theoretical results about inequivalence between passive and active gravitational masses and energy in the semiclassical variant of general relativity, where the gravitational field is not quantized but matter is quantized. To this end, we consider the simplest quantum body with internal degrees of freedom-a hydrogen atom. We concentrate our attention on the following physical effects, related to electron mass. The first one is the inequivalence between passive gravitational mass and energy at the microscopic level. Indeed, the quantum measurement of gravitational mass can give a result which is different from the expected one, m me + E1 c2, where the electron is initially in its ground state; me is the bare electron mass. The second effect is that the expectation values of both the passive and active gravitational masses of stationary quantum states are equivalent to the expectation value of the energy. The most spectacular effects are the inequivalence of the passive and active gravitational masses and the energy at the macroscopic level for an ensemble of coherent superpositions of stationary quantum states. We show that, for such superpositions, the expectation values of passive and active gravitational masses are not related to the expectation value of energy by Einstein's famous equation, m E c2. In this paper, we also improve several drawbacks of the original pioneering works.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1930020
JournalInternational Journal of Modern Physics D
Volume28
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

Keywords

  • Equivalence principle
  • mass-energy equivalence
  • quantum gravity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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