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Quantum control of levitated massive mechanical systems: a new approach for gravitational quantum physics

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "QLev4G" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: WIEN
postcode: 1010

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Austria [AT]
 Project website
 Total cost 2˙155˙285 €
 EC max contribution 2˙155˙285 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-06-01   to  2020-05-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITAT WIEN AT (WIEN) coordinator 2˙155˙285.00


 Project objective

Quantum physics and general relativity are probably the most successful and well-tested theories of modern science. At the same time, their fundamental concepts are so dramatically different that there is disagreement on the most obvious questions such as “how does a mass in a quantum superposition state gravitate?“. Achieving progress on such foundational questions requires experiments at the interface between quantum physics and gravity, of which to date only a few of exist. The main objective of the proposed research is to establish quantum control of levitated massive objects as a new paradigm system for such experiments and to enter a hitherto inaccessible parameter regime of large mass and long quantum coherence.

The proposal builds on the enormous recent success in quantum control of the motion of solid-state mechanical resonators, which has emerged over the last decade as a new branch of interdisciplinary research in quantum and solid-state physics. Applied to optically or magnetically levitated systems this methodology promises (i) exceptional sensitivity to weak gravitational forces, hence enabling measurements of gravity between sub-millimeter objects; (ii) unprecedented levels of decoupling from the environment, thereby opening up a new route for long-lived quantum coherence of genuinely massive systems. Quantum control is achieved by coupling the motion either of optically trapped particles to an optical cavity field or of magnetically trapped particles to superconducting circuits. We will explore both methods for systematically expanding the available parameter space of macroscopic quantum systems and for first proof-of-concept experiments aimed towards addressing fundamental questions of gravitational quantum physics.

If successful, this research program will become a door-opener to the quantum regime of genuinely massive objects, where gravity of the quantum system itself may start to play a role for the correct description of a quantum experiment.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Igor Marinković, Andreas Wallucks, Ralf Riedinger, Sungkun Hong, Markus Aspelmeyer, Simon Gröblacher
Optomechanical Bell Test
published pages: , ISSN: 0031-9007, DOI: 10.1103/physrevlett.121.220404
Physical Review Letters 121/22 2020-02-04
2018 Lorenzo Magrini, Richard A. Norte, Ralf Riedinger, Igor Marinković, David Grass, Uroš Delić, Simon Gröblacher, Sungkun Hong, Markus Aspelmeyer
Near-field coupling of a levitated nanoparticle to a photonic crystal cavity
published pages: 1597, ISSN: 2334-2536, DOI: 10.1364/optica.5.001597
Optica 5/12 2020-02-04
2019 Uroš Delić, Manuel Reisenbauer, David Grass, Nikolai Kiesel, Vladan Vuletić, Markus Aspelmeyer
Cavity Cooling of a Levitated Nanosphere by Coherent Scattering
published pages: , ISSN: 0031-9007, DOI: 10.1103/physrevlett.122.123602
Physical Review Letters 122/12 2020-02-04
2019 J Hofer, M Aspelmeyer
Analytic solutions to the Maxwell–London equations and levitation force for a superconducting sphere in a quadrupole field
published pages: 125508, ISSN: 0031-8949, DOI: 10.1088/1402-4896/ab0c44
Physica Scripta 94/12 2020-02-04
2019 Alessio Belenchia, Robert M. Wald, Flaminia Giacomini, Esteban Castro-Ruiz, ÄŒaslav Brukner, Markus Aspelmeyer
Information content of the gravitational field of a quantum superposition
published pages: 1943001, ISSN: 0218-2718, DOI: 10.1142/s0218271819430016
International Journal of Modern Physics D 28/14 2020-02-04
2018 Alessio Belenchia, Robert M. Wald, Flaminia Giacomini, Esteban Castro-Ruiz, ÄŒaslav Brukner, Markus Aspelmeyer
Quantum superposition of massive objects and the quantization of gravity
published pages: , ISSN: 2470-0010, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.98.126009
Physical Review D 98/12 2020-02-04
2016 André Pilan Zanoni, Johannes Burkhardt, Ulrich Johann, Markus Aspelmeyer, Rainer Kaltenbaek, Gerald Hechenblaikner
Thermal performance of a radiatively cooled system for quantum optomechanical experiments in space
published pages: 689-699, ISSN: 1359-4311, DOI: 10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2016.06.116
Applied Thermal Engineering 107 2019-06-07
2016 Jonas Schmöle, Mathias Dragosits, Hans Hepach, Markus Aspelmeyer
A micromechanical proof-of-principle experiment for measuring the gravitational force of milligram masses
published pages: 125031, ISSN: 0264-9381, DOI: 10.1088/0264-9381/33/12/125031
Classical and Quantum Gravity 33/12 2019-06-07
2016 Ralf Riedinger, Sungkun Hong, Richard A. Norte, Joshua A. Slater, Juying Shang, Alexander G. Krause, Vikas Anant, Markus Aspelmeyer, Simon Gröblacher
Non-classical correlations between single photons and phonons from a mechanical oscillator
published pages: 313-316, ISSN: 0028-0836, DOI: 10.1038/nature16536
Nature 530/7590 2019-06-07
2017 Sungkun Hong, Ralf Riedinger, Igor Marinković, Andreas Wallucks, Sebastian G. Hofer, Richard A. Norte, Markus Aspelmeyer, Simon Gröblacher
Hanbury Brown and Twiss interferometry of single phonons from an optomechanical resonator
published pages: 203-206, ISSN: 0036-8075, DOI: 10.1126/science.aan7939
Science 358/6360 2019-06-07
2016 David Grass, Julian Fesel, Sebastian G. Hofer, Nikolai Kiesel, Markus Aspelmeyer
Optical trapping and control of nanoparticles inside evacuated hollow core photonic crystal fibers
published pages: 221103, ISSN: 0003-6951, DOI: 10.1063/1.4953025
Applied Physics Letters 108/22 2019-06-07
2018 Ralf Riedinger, Andreas Wallucks, Igor Marinković, Clemens Löschnauer, Markus Aspelmeyer, Sungkun Hong, Simon Gröblacher
Remote quantum entanglement between two micromechanical oscillators
published pages: 473-477, ISSN: 0028-0836, DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0036-z
Nature 556/7702 2019-06-07

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