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Quantum superposition of two gravitational cat states

TitleQuantum superposition of two gravitational cat states
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsC.. Anastopoulos, and B.. L. Hu
JournalClass. Quantum Gravity
Date Publisheddec
KeywordsBose Einstein condensates, entanglement, gravitational decoherence, gravitational quantum physics, quantum superpositions

We extend our earlier work [1] on probing a gravitational cat state (gravcat) to the quantum superposition of two gravcats in an exemplary model and in Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC). In addition to its basic theoretical values in gravitational quantum physics and macroscopic quantum phenomena, this investigation can provide some theoretical support to experimental proposals for measuring gravity-induced entanglement and the quantum nature of perturbative gravity. In the first part we consider cat states generated by double-well potentials. A pair of gravcats, each approximated as a two-level system, is characterized by gravity-induced Rabi oscillations, and by gravity-induced entanglement of its energy eigenstates. In the second part we turn to a (non-relativistic) quantum field theory description and derive a gravitational Gross-Pitaevsky equation for gravcats formed in BEC. Using a mathematical analogy to quantum rotors, we explore the properties of the two-gravcat system for BECs, its physical consequences and observational possibilities. Finally we discuss our results in comparison to predictions of alternative quantum theories, and we explain their implications.