Physicists are continually looking for ways to unify the theory of relativity, which describes large-scale phenomena, with quantum theory, which describes small-scale phenomena. In a new proposed experiment in this area, two toaster-sized "nanosatellites" carrying entangled condensates orbit around the Earth, until one of them moves to a different orbit with a different gravitational field strength. As a result of the change in gravity, the entanglement between the condensates is predicted to degrade by up to 20%. Experimentally testing the proposal may be possible in the near future.
The paper, which is published in a recent issue of the New Journal of Physics by David Edward Bruschi, et al., theoretically demonstrates how relativistic effects impact the quantum world.
"Our work shows that it is possible to test gravitational effects, which are thought to affect classical systems at large and very large scales, with genuinely (small) entangled quantum systems," Bruschi told Phys.org. "Our results aid the understanding of the effects of relativity on entanglement, an important resource for quantum information processing. Since we lack a theory that merges quantum theory and relativity, our work can help direct future theoretical and experimental efforts that investigate quantum effects at large scales."