Starts 12 Sep 2017 14:30
Ends 12 Sep 2017 16:00
Central European Time
ICTP
Leonardo Building - Luigi Stasi Seminar Room
Abstract. The theory of quantum mechanics, despite being highly successful, is plagued with foundational issues such as the “measurement problem”. Understanding the process of “measurement” and the random collapse of the wavefunctions from a more profound perspective than the standard Copenhagen picture have been one of the major aims in foundational quantum mechanics. Many alternative explanations such as Bohmian mechanics, Continuous Spontaneous Localization model (CSL), many-worlds interpretation etc have been suggested to address the issue. Possibilities that the wavefunction collapse is a manifestation of the non-standard coupling of the quantum particles with the background gravitational field have also been explored in this context. Such an interpretation does not alter the theory of quantum mechanics, but relates the quantum theory with the background geometry in order to seek for an answer to the long-standing problem. The possibility that the background fluctuating spacetime plays an important role in quantum decoherence has been explored in great details by Karolyhazy, Diosi and collaborators, and also by Penrose. In this talk, I will discuss the physics involved in such ideas, elaborating on the differences between different models. I will also talk about some important implications of such models, their lack of completeness, and possible ways to address the issues. I will discuss the so called “Diosi-Penrose” criterion (independently suggested by Diosi and Pensrose), which might be an indication of a universal scale at which the interplay of gravity and quantum mechanics becomes important. Lastly, I will briefly talk about scenarios where such effects can be experimentally detected and the technical challenges involved.