Gravitational Quantum Physics

Our group is focused on probing space-time, both at the classical and quantum level, using high-precision measurements on microscopic probes. The pioneering efforts of the Colella-Overhauser-Werner experiment have been followed by a diverse range of proposals and approaches, with strong links to low-temperature condensed matter physics, atomic, nuclear, and particle physics. Some of the research directions currently pursued by our group include gravitationally-induced decoherence, relativistic quantum information, tests of the equivalence principle, analog tests of Hawking and Unruh effects, quantum sensing and metrology, short-distance gravity, and precision measurements of spectroscopic shifts of astrophysical nature. 

Selected Publications

  • L. M. Norris, G. A. Paz-Silva, and L. Viola, Qubit Noise Spectroscopy for Non-Gaussian Dephasing Environments, Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 150503 (2016). 
  • B. N. Katz, M. P. Blencowe, and K. C. Schwab, Mesoscopic mechanical resonators as quantum noninertial reference frames, Phys. Rev. A 92, 042104 (2015).
  • G. A. Wegner and R. Onofrio, Higgs shifts from electron-positron annihilations near neutron stars, Eur. Phys. J. C 75, 307 (2015).
  • R. Onofrio and G. A. Wegner, Search for Higgs shifts in white dwarfs, Astrophys. J. 791, 125 (2014).
  • M. P. Blencowe, Effective Field Theory Approach to Gravitationally Induced Decoherence, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 021302 (2013).
  • R. Onofrio, On weak interactions as short-distance manifestations of gravity, Mod. Phys. Lett. A 28, 1350022 (2013).
  • R. Onofrio, Neutrino mass variability due to nonminimal coupling to spacetime curvature in neutrinophilic two-Higgs-doublet models, Phys. Rev. D 86, 087501 (2012).
  • P. D. Nation, J. R. Johansson, M. P. Blencowe, and F. Nori, Colloquium: Stimulating uncertainty: Amplifying the vacuum with superconducting circuits, Rev. Mod. Phys. 84, 1 (2012).
  • P. D. Nation and M. P. Blencowe, The trilinear Hamiltonian: a zero-dimensional model of Hawking radiation from a quantized source, New. J. Phys. 12, 095013 (2010).
  • P. D. Nation, M. P. Blencowe, A. J. Rimberg, and E. Buks, Analogue Hawking Radiation in a dc-SQUID Array Transmission Line, Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 087004 (2009).
  • W.-J. Kim, J. H. Brownell, and R. Onofrio, Detectability of Dissipative Motion in Quantum Vacuum via Superradiance, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 200401 (2006).
  • L. Viola and R. Onofrio, Contractive Schroedinger cat states for a free mass, New J. Phys. 5, 5.1 (2003). 
  • L. Viola and R. Onofrio, Testing the equivalence principle through freely falling quantum objects, Physical Review D 55, 455-462 (1997).
  • M. P. Blencowe, The Hamiltonian constraint in quantum gravity, Nucl. Phys. B 341, 213 (1990).