Crucial tests of macrorealist and semiclassical gravity models with freely falling mesoscopic nanospheres

Abstract : Recently, several proposals have been made to test the quantum superposition principle in the mesoscopic regime. Most of these tests consist of a careful measurement of the loss of interference due to decoherence. Here we consider, instead, the spread in position of a freely falling nanosphere. We study in depth the dependence of this spread on self-gravity in the presence of decoherence (exotic and nonexotic). We show that the influence of self-gravity is robust in the presence of weak decoherence, and quantify this robustness by introducing a parameter, the critical decoherence, aimed at estimating the critical value above which self-gravity is overwhelmed by decoherence. We also emphasize the crucial role played by the spread of the initial wave packet for the sensitivity of free-fall experiments to decoherence.
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Samuel Colin, Thomas Durt, Ralph Willox. Crucial tests of macrorealist and semiclassical gravity models with freely falling mesoscopic nanospheres. Phys.Rev.A, 2016, 93 (6), pp.062102. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevA.93.062102⟩. ⟨hal-01555040⟩

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