Physicists Find a Way to See the ‘Grin’ of Quantum Gravity

Two microdiamonds would be used to test the quantum nature of gravity

In 1935, when both quantum mechanics and Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity were young, a little-known Soviet physicist named Matvei Bronstein, just 28 himself, made the first detailed study of the problem of reconciling the two in a quantum theory of gravity. This “possible theory of the world as a whole,” as Bronstein called it, would supplant Einstein’s classical description of gravity, which casts it as curves in the space-time continuum, and rewrite it in the same quantum language as the rest of physics.

Bronstein figured out how to describe gravity in terms of quantized particles, now called gravitons, but only when the force of gravity is weak — that is (in general relativity), when the space-time fabric is so weakly curved that it can be approximated as flat. When gravity is strong, “the situation is quite different,” he wrote. “Without a deep revision of classical notions, it seems hardly possible to extend the quantum theory of gravity also to this domain.”

His words were prophetic. Eighty-three years later, physicists are still trying to understand how space-time curvature emerges on macroscopic scales from a more fundamental, presumably quantum picture of gravity; it’s arguably the deepest question in physics. Perhaps, given the chance, the whip-smart Bronstein might have helped to speed things along. Aside from quantum gravity, he contributed to astrophysics and cosmology, semiconductor theory, and quantum electrodynamics, and he also wrote several science books for children, before being caught up in Stalin’s Great Purge and executed in 1938, at the age of 31.

Matvey_Bronshtein_300.jpg

The Soviet theoretical physicist Matvei Petrovich Bronstein (1906-1938), a pioneer of quantum gravity research whose work remains largely unknown in the west. Photo from the Public Domain.

The search for the full theory of quantum gravity has been stymied by the fact that gravity’s quantum properties never seem to manifest in actual experience. Physicists never get to see how Einstein’s description of the smooth space-time continuum, or Bronstein’s quantum approximation of it when it’s weakly curved, goes wrong.

The problem is gravity’s extreme weakness. Whereas the quantized particles that convey the strong, weak and electromagnetic forces are so powerful that they tightly bind matter into atoms, and can be studied in tabletop experiments, gravitons are individually so weak that laboratories have no hope of detecting them. To detect a graviton with high probability, a particle detector would have to be so huge and massive that it would collapse into a black hole. This weakness is why it takes an astronomical accumulation of mass to gravitationally influence other massive bodies, and why we only see gravity writ large.

Not only that, but the universe appears to be governed by a kind of cosmic censorship: Regions of extreme gravity — where space-time curves so sharply that Einstein’s equations malfunction and the true, quantum nature of gravity and space-time must be revealed — always hide behind the horizons of black holes.

“Even a few years ago it was a generic consensus that, most likely, it’s not even conceivably possible to measure quantization of the gravitational field in any way,” said Igor Pikovski, a theoretical physicist at Harvard University.

Now, a pair of papers published in 2017 in Physical Review Letters has changed the calculus. The papers contend that it’s possible to access quantum gravity after all — while learning nothing about it. The papers, written by Sougato Bose at University College London and nine collaborators and by Chiara Marletto and Vlatko Vedral at the University of Oxford, propose a technically challenging, but feasible, tabletop experiment that could confirm that gravity is a quantum force like all the rest, without ever detecting a graviton. Miles Blencowe, a quantum physicist at Dartmouth College who was not involved in the work, said the experiment would detect a sure sign of otherwise invisible quantum gravity — the “grin of the Cheshire cat.”

The proposed experiment will determine whether two objects — Bose’s group plans to use a pair of microdiamonds — can become quantum-mechanically entangled with each other through their mutual gravitational attraction. Entanglement is a quantum phenomenon in which particles become inseparably entwined, sharing a single physical description that specifies their possible combined states. (The coexistence of different possible states, called a “superposition,” is the hallmark of quantum systems.) For example, an entangled pair of particles might exist in a superposition in which there’s a 50 percent chance that the “spin” of particle A points upward and B’s points downward, and a 50 percent chance of the reverse. There’s no telling in advance which outcome you’ll get when you measure the particles’ spin directions, but you can be sure they’ll point opposite ways.

The authors argue that the two objects in their proposed experiment can become entangled with each other in this way only if the force that acts between them — in this case, gravity — is a quantum interaction, mediated by gravitons that can maintain quantum superpositions. “If you can do the experiment and you get entanglement, then according to those papers, you have to conclude that gravity is quantized,” Blencowe explained.

To Entangle a Diamond

Quantum gravity is so imperceptible that some researchers have questioned whether it even exists. The venerable mathematical physicist Freeman Dyson, 94, has argued since 2001 that the universe might sustain a kind of “dualistic” description, where “the gravitational field described by Einstein’s theory of general relativity is a purely classical field without any quantum behavior,” as he wrote that year in The New York Review of Books, even though all the matter within this smooth space-time continuum is quantized into particles that obey probabilistic rules.

Dyson, who helped develop quantum electrodynamics (the theory of interactions between matter and light) and is professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, where he overlapped with Einstein, disagrees with the argument that quantum gravity is needed to describe the unreachable interiors of black holes. And he wonders whether detecting the hypothetical graviton might be impossible, even in principle. In that case, he argues, quantum gravity is metaphysical, rather than physics. READ REST OF STORY HERE……

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No Senate Republicans voted to advance the stimulus package that’d give most Americans $1,400 one-time checks

No Senate Republicans voted to advance stimulus package that give Americans $1400, one-time checks

  • The Senate voted Tuesday on a budget resolution that could speed coronavirus aid through Congress.
  • No Republicans voted to advance the measure, which was introduced by the Democratic majority.
  • The phrase “No Republicans” trended on Twitter after the vote.                    

Senate Republicans issued a mass rebuke of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package on Tuesday night, with none voting to advance it.

In a strict party-line vote, all 50 Senate Democrats voted to advance a budget resolution to speed the aid package through Congress without Republican support. Forty-nine Republicans voted against the resolution. Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania was absent because of snow.

The phrase ” No Republicans ” was trending on Twitter after the vote.

“We are not going to dilute, dither, or delay,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said before the vote, adding: “We welcome cooperation. There is nothing about the process of a budget resolution or reconciliation, for that matter, that forecloses the possibility of bipartisanship.”

Read more : Democrats are moving ahead with Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID stimulus – with or without Republicans. Here are the 4 main sticking points that could blow things up.

The package on the line includes a round of $1,400 direct payments for most Americans, $350 billion to state and local governments, an increase in federal jobless aid to $400, and a proposal to increase the federal minimum wage to $15, among other aid.

All four measures have proved to be sticking points between the two parties.

Republicans want the relief checks capped at $1,000 and allocated only to people making less than $50,000 a year. They say the money for state and local governments isn’t needed and didn’t include any local funding in their counteroffer. They want the current federal jobless aid to remain the same and continue through June. Biden’s plan would increase it and extend it through September. And while some Republicans support increasing the federal minimum wage, few wish it to be as high as $15.

The bill also includes $130 billion to reopen schools, a major expansion of the child tax credit , $50 billion toward COVID-19 testing, and $20 billion toward a national vaccine program in partnership with states, localities, and tribes.

The budget-reconciliation process allows Democrats to pass the plan with only 51 votes, instead of the 60-vote supermajority usually required of bills.

Biden hosted Republicans on Monday to discuss the party’s $618 billion counteroffer .

According to The New York Times, some Republican senators considered Biden more receptive to compromise than his staff or Schumer during the meeting, though Biden has signaled that $600 billion is too little.

“They’ve chosen a totally partisan path,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told The Times about Senate Democrats.

McConnell used reconciliation to pass tax cuts during his time as majority leader. He also employed the measure in a failed attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act .

Senate Democrats could approve the resolution as soon as Friday.

According to Roll Call, the House will vote on its nearly identical measure Wednesday and then will have to vote again on final adoption of the joint measure after the Senate makes additions.

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David Gregory Candidate for Citrus County Commission Dist 2 NEW WEBSITE

Article Courtesy of DG4CCD2.US

PETITION EXAMPLE

After filing papers on Jan. 8 2018 I am building the infrastructure for my campaign! I plan to put the County Commission on the road to sustainable programs that do not include the building of county wide water and sewer systems nor does it include turning Citrus County into the suburbs for Orlando and Tampa! The necessity to attract more industries with higher pay scales is inescapable, without such foresight the dismal reality of those who have and those who have not will continue to grow becoming worst resulting in a smaller tax base, program cuts and higher taxes! Putting the clamps down on the industrial park in Holder was short sighted with no acknowledgement to the potentials that would become available because of it’s proximity to Marion County. I am running for District 2’s seat, it’s a county wide election and this is your opportunity to let all the commissioners know you’re dissatisfied with their current views and you, the voters of Citrus are tired of being ignored! Our first priority is to get on the ballot, in order to do that I need 1057 petitions signed by Citrus County Registered Voters and I need it sooner rather than later!

If you would like to volunteer for change and to distribute my petitions or you need some petitions delivered to you send an email to dg4ccd2@gmail.com

or call 352-503-8294 and leave a message!

Online Campaign Contributions are in the works-COMING SOON!

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Letter Editor-What about us Citizens?

Merry Christmas! & Happy New Year!!

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Recently a member of the Transportation Planning Organization, complained that he was "not in the loop" about "Port Citrus" a  Citrus County Commission project.

WHAT ABOUT US CITIZENS????

Actually, whoever in the general public, that I have spoken to – and that is many, I can truthfully say that the average Citizen does not want our tax money "In the Loop" of "Port Citrus"!! We are tired of politician’s Tax & Spend Mentality: WITHOUT THE GO-AHEAD of the Citizens!

The Citizens are definitely "Out of the Loop" on Port Citrus, just as much as they were "Out of the Loop"  on the "Ottawa Connector" , and the "Inter local Centralized Sewer Agreement", even though their taxes/finances were shoved/planned  to be "In the Loop" – "to the hilt" on all of these BOCC Projects!!!

There has been no advertised official public hearing or referendum on "Port Citrus: both are recommended or else NOT ANOTHER of the Citizen’s tax dollars should go into the "Port Citrus" $$$ Money Loop!! In fact at this point MOST Citizens want THEIR money OUT OF THE LOOP" & NO MORE IN THE LOOP!!! The BOCC is supposed to represent "WE THE PEOPLE"!

Renee Christopher-McPheeters

Citrus County

Here comes …. Ron Paul

Here comes … Ron Paul.image

A new survey by left-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) finds the Texas congressman now leading for the GOP nomination in Iowa, where voters cast the first ballots of the 2012 presidential contest on Jan. 3.

Paul today also announced on his website that he raised more than $4 million since Friday in his latest "money bomb," aimed at helping him in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — which all hold early caucuses or primaries.

INTERACTIVE: Poll tracker

STORY: Super PAC spending

Paul’s rise comes as Newt Gingrich fades. The former House speaker has dropped nine percentage points nationally since the beginning of the month, according to the Gallup daily tracking poll. Click here for the rest of the story….

Letter to the Editor-Dennis Kucinich

Dennis Kucinich - www.Kucinich.us

A War Based on Lies

Nine years ago this country went down a path that has been calamitous for our people, for our soldiers, and for the Iraqi civilians. I led the effort then to oppose the Iraq war resolution, and I also investigated the supposed reasons we were told this war was necessary. We found that there was no proof that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction nor the capability of attacking the United States of America. In short, the war in Iraq was based on lies.
Nine years later, over a millions innocent Iraqis lost their lives, thousands of U.S. troops who love this country sacrificed their lives, tens of thousands of troops were injured, and we have spent over $3 trillion of our tax dollars.
I recorded the following video to explain what’s happened and what we need to do to set a new direction – one that protects America by protecting our way of life with jobs and healthcare:

With your support, we’ll continue to challenge the war first mentality that wastes lives and money while we need so much investment here at home. I will continue to be the voice of truth and justice in our Congress.
Let’s set America in a new direction.
With respect,
Dennis
Dennis Kucinich