Quantum Systems under Gravitational Time Dilation

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Springer, Feb 6, 2017 - Science - 139 pages
This thesis introduces a new theoretical tool to explore the notion of time and temporal order in quantum mechanics: the relativistic quantum "clock" framework. It proposes novel thought experiments showing that proper time can display quantum features, e.g. when a “clock” runs different proper times in superposition. The resulting new physical effects can be tested in near-future laboratory experiments (with atoms, molecules and photons as "clocks"). The notion of time holds the key to the regime where quantum theory and general relativity overlap, which has not been directly tested yet and remains largely unexplored by the theory. The framework also applies to scenarios in which causal relations between events become non-classical and which were previously considered impossible to address without refuting quantum theory. The relativistic quantum "clock" framework offers new insights into the foundations of quantum theory and general relativity.
 

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Contents

1 Introduction
1
2 Classical Clocks in General Relativity
9
3 Quantum Clocks in General Relativity
29
4 Quantum Complementarity and Time Dilation
37
5 Interference of ClocksExperimental Proposals
47
6 Decoherence from Time Dilation
70
7 Quantum Formulation of the Einstein Equivalence Principle
81
8 Clocks Beyond Classical SpaceTime
98
9 Conclusions and Outlook
115
Appendix Appendix A
119
Appendix Appendix B
121
Appendix Appendix C
123
Appendix Appendix D
127
Appendix Appendix E
129
Appendix Appendix F
136
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About the author (2017)

After graduating in Physics from the University of Łˇdź, Poland, Magdalena Zych joined the group of Časlav Brukner in Vienna -- first as an Erwin Schr÷dinger Junior Research Fellow, and then as a PhD student. Inspired by discussions with Vienna's frequent guests: Danny Greenberger ("G" of the GHZ) and Oxford philosopher Harvey Brown, she quickly shifted her research interest from entanglement in relativistic quantum fields to joint foundations of quantum theory and general relativity. Currently, she continues to pursue this fascinating research line in sunny Brisbane (Australia) as a Fellow of the University of Queensland.

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