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The core question addressed by this project is a table top test of quantum gravity (QG).The dream of building a theory unifying general relativity and quantum mechanics has been a key element in theoretical physics research for the last 60 years.Several attempts in this sense have been considered. However, for many years no testable prediction emerged, leading to the common wisdom that this kind of research was more properly a part of mathematics than of physics, being by construction unsuited to an experimental test.In the last few years this common wisdom was challenged: a first series of testable proposals concerned photons propagating on cosmological distances, with the problem of extracting QG effects from a limited observational sample affected by various propagation effects. More recently, effects in interferometers were considered both with microresonators and coupled interferometers (as a double 40m Michelson at Fermilab).
In this project we want to realise a table top experiment exploiting quantum correlated light in coupled interferometers. Specific activities include the setting up of a specifically addressed laboratory and the planning, realisation and operation of the optical bench.
The aim of this project is to lead to a test of the non-commutativity of position variables with a precision by far larger than the Fermilab one. Furthermore, this experiment will also represent a very innovative step in the realm of applications of quantum correlated light, paving the way to the use of entanglement in interferometry.
We expect 10 or more peer review articles to result from this work, some of them to be published in high impact factor journals as Science, Nature group, PRL, etc.
A success of this research will lead to the birth of a new discipline, the experimental QG,leading fundamental element for elaborating a final theory of the whole.It is evident the impact of this result in our vision of the physical reality will be of the utmost importance.