Wednesday, October 19, 2011
One clock with two times: When quantum mechanics meets general relativity: The team at the University of Vienna considers a single clock (any particle with evolving internal degrees of freedom such as spin) which is brought in a superposition of two locations – one closer and one further away from the surface of the Earth. According to general relativity, the clock ticks at different rates in the two locations, in the same way as the two twins would age differently. But since the time measured by the clock reveals the information on where the clock was located, the interference and the wave-nature of the clock is lost. "It is the twin paradox for a quantum 'only child', and it requires general relativity as well as quantum mechanics. Such an interplay between the two theories has never been probed in experiments yet..."