Does gravity influence quantum systems? Is gravity quantum?
We study these questions using the tools of quantum and precision metrology.
Combining quantum physics and gravity is one of the greatest unresolved puzzles in modern physics. Theoretical progress is hindered by a lack of experiments, and experiments are hindered by the typical inaccessibility of the quantum gravity regime. Our group finds itself right in the middle of this vicious cycle, using precision measurements to experimentally access this regime and in turn inform theories.
Precision metrology encompasses techniques and concepts from many different fields. Our experiments make heavy use of cavity optomechanics, electromagnetism, quantum optics, and electronics, whereas on the theory side, we think a lot about quantum physics, stochastic processes and anything else that is necessary to understand and design our experiments.
Approaching the motional ground state of a 10 kg object
C. Whittle, E.D. Hall, S. Dwyer, N. Mavalvala, V. Sudhir, (LIGO Instrument Science group)
Selection of press coverage: Physics World, Nature India, Optics & Photonics News, Science, MIT News, The Conversation, New Scientist, Gizmodo
Quantum Limits on Measurement and Control of a Mechanical Oscillator