Gravitationally induced phase shift on a single photon
Author(s)Hilweg, Christopher; Massa, Francesco; Walther, Philip; Chrusciel, Piotr T; Martynov, Denis; Mavalvala, Nergis; ... Show more Show less
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The effect of the Earth's gravitational potential on a quantum wave function has only been observed for massive particles. In this paper we present a scheme to measure a gravitationally induced phase shift on a single photon traveling in a coherent superposition along different paths of an optical fiber interferometer. To create a measurable signal for the interaction between the static gravitational potential and the wave function of the photon, we propose a variant of a conventional Mach–Zehnder interferometer. We show that the predicted relative phase difference of 10⁻⁵ rad is measurable even in the presence of fiber noise, provided additional stabilization techniques are implemented for each arm of a large-scale fiber interferometer. Effects arising from the rotation of the Earth and the material properties of the fibers are analysed. We conclude that optical fiber interferometry is a feasible way to measure the gravitationally induced phase shift on a single-photon wave function, and thus provides a means to corroborate the equivalence of the energy of the photon and its effective gravitational mass.
DepartmentLaser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory
New Journal of Physics
Hilweg, Christopher; Massa, Francesco; Martynov, Denis; Mavalvala, Nergis; Chruściel, Piotr T and Walther, Philip. “Gravitationally Induced Phase Shift on a Single Photon.” New Journal of Physics 19, no. 3 (March 2017): 033028 © 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft
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