We have recently shown that both passive and active gravitational masses of a composite body are not equivalent to its energy due to some quantum effects. We have also suggested idealized and more realistic experiments to detect the above-mentioned inequivalence for a passive gravitational mass. The suggested idealized effect is as follows. A spacecraft moves protons of a macroscopic ensemble of hydrogen atoms with constant velocity in the Earth's gravitational field. Due to nonhomogeneous squeezing of space by the field, electron ground state wave function experiences time-dependent perturbation in each hydrogen atom. This perturbation results in the appearance of a finite probability for an electron to be excited at higher energy levels and to emit a photon. The experimental task is to detect such photons from the ensemble of the atoms. More realistic variants of such experiment can be realized in solid crystals and nuclei, as first mentioned by us. In his recent comment on our paper, Crowell has argued that the effect, suggested by us, contradicts the existing experiments and, in particular, astronomic data. We show here that this conclusion is incorrect and based on the so-called "free fall" experiments, where our effect does not have to be observed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics