The unification of quantum physics and gravity is one of the most pressing open questions in physics. Recent theoretical proposals have suggested the use of Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) to study quantum gravity. These quantum systems are highly controllable, well described by theory and allow for extremely repeatable experiments – advantages recommending BECs for a range of precision measurements.
Advances in theory and experiment make it plausible to bring BECs into a regime where quantum and gravitational effects both play a role - and answers can be obtained. To search for quantum gravity with BECs, an increase in their mass is necessary.
We propose to push the experimental boundaries to create massive, interaction-tuneable BECs in the range of 10^8 – 10^9 atoms. We base this gain on innovative methods to first increase the number of atoms in a magneto-optical trap (MOT) to > 10^11. Methods for efficient run-away cooling, in an adapted combination of a magnetic-trap and optical dipole trap, will result in a BEC with 10^8-10^9 atoms. Our results will enable previously impossible tests of fundamental physics, including initial signatures of quantum gravity, and find applications in quantum sensing – e.g. in atomic gravimeters and magnetometers.