Locality and entanglement in table-top testing of the quantum nature of linearized gravity

Ryan J. Marshman*, Anupam Mazumdar, Sougato Bose

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

108 Citations (Scopus)
173 Downloads (Pure)


This paper points out the importance of the assumption of locality of physical interactions, and the concomitant necessity of propagation of an entity (in this case, off-shell quanta - virtual gravitons) between two nonrelativistic test masses in unveiling the quantum nature of linearized gravity through a laboratory experiment. At the outset, we will argue that observing the quantum nature of a system is not limited to evidencing Oℏ corrections to a classical theory: it instead hinges upon verifying tasks that a classical system cannot accomplish. We explain the background concepts needed from quantum field theory and quantum information theory to fully appreciate the previously proposed table-top experiments, namely forces arising through the exchange of virtual (off-shell) quanta, as well as local operations and classical communication (LOCC) and entanglement witnesses. We clarify the key assumption inherent in our evidencing experiment, namely the locality of physical interactions, which is a generic feature of interacting systems of quantum fields around us, and naturally incorporate microcausality in the description of our experiment. We also present the types of states the matter field must inhabit, putting the experiment on firm relativistic quantum-field-theoretic grounds. At the end, we use a nonlocal theory of gravity to illustrate how our mechanism may still be used to detect the qualitatively quantum nature of a force when the scale of nonlocality is finite. We find that the scale of nonlocality, including the entanglement entropy production in local and nonlocal gravity, may be revealed from the results of our experiment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number052110
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 18-May-2020




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