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Testing the Large-Scale Limit of Quantum Mechanics

Objective

Microscopic systems can be prepared in quantum configurations with no classical counterpart. Such a possibility seems precluded when the 'complexity' of the system grows towards the macroscopic domain: so far we have no evidence of non-classical behavior of the macroscopic world. Why is it so? How is quantumness lost as we abandon the microscopic domain? These questions, which remain to date largely unanswered, address interesting and challenging goals of modern research in physics, and serve the overarching goal of this project. TEQ will establish the large-scale limit of quantum mechanics by pursuing a novel research programme that aims at surpassing the current approach based on matter-wave interferometry. Specifically, the TEQ Consortium will
1) Trap an ad hoc manufactured nanocrystal in a radio-frequency ion trap, cooling it by optical parametric feedback, so as to let it operate in ultra-low noise environments.
2) Determine quantitatively all the major sources of decoherence affecting the nanocrystal, and control them experimentally so as to prepare high-quality quantum states of its motional degrees of freedom.
3) Analyse the light scattered by the nanocrystal to test the quantum predictions for the motion of the particle against those of spontaneous collapse and non-standard decoherence mechanisms, and thus pinpoint/rule-out key quantum-spoiling effects, beyond all the studies performed so far.
This roadmap will enable the test of quantum effects for systems whose mass is orders of magnitude larger than that employed in the most successful quantum experiments to date, thus closing the gap with the macroscopic world. Moreover, it will entail significant technological impact: the device that will be built will exhibit exquisite sensitivity to frequency and displacements, thus embodying a significant contribution of explicit technological nature to the design of quantum empowered metrological sensors.

Coordinator

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI TRIESTE

Address

Piazzale Europa 1
34127 Trieste

Italy

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 621 260

Participants (8)

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AARHUS UNIVERSITET

Denmark

EU Contribution

€ 515 625

ISTITUTO NAZIONALE DI FISICA NUCLEARE

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 384 375

OESTERREICHISCHE AKADEMIE DER WISSENSCHAFTEN

Austria

EU Contribution

€ 372 375

THE QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY OF BELFAST

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 442 198,75

TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITEIT DELFT

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 393 840

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 518 996,25

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 727 991,25

M-SQUARED LASERS LIMITED

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 394 812,50

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 766900

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 January 2018

  • End date

    31 December 2021

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.2.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 4 371 473,75

  • EU contribution

    € 4 371 473,75

Coordinated by:

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI TRIESTE

Italy