“Limits to Planck-scale Physics set by AURIGA”

Wednesday 6 February 2013
at 14:00
in the EGO Auditorium
Prof. Francesco Marin
Dip. di Fisica e Astronomia, Università di Firenze and INFN,
Sezione di Firenze
“Limits to Planck-scale Physics
set by AURIGA”

Different approaches to quantum gravity, such as string theory and loop quantum gravity, as well as doubly special relativity and gedanken experiments in black holes physics, all indicate the existence of a minimal measurable length of the order of the Planck length, corresponding to 10-35 m. This observation has motivated the proposal of generalized uncertainty relations, which imply changes in the energy spectrum of quantum systems. As a consequence, quantum gravitational effects could be revealed by experiments able to test deviations from standard quantum mechanics. We have indeed exploited the sub-millikelvin cooling of the normal modes of the ton-scale gravitational wave detector AURIGA, to place an upper limit for possible Planck scale modifications on the ground state energy of a macroscopic oscillator. We discuss the experiment and the possible interpretation of its results.

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