A new study by the UCL, University of Groningen, and the University of Warwick offers details on how state-of-the-art quantum technologies and experimental techniques can be used to build a detector capable of measuring and comparing the strength of gravity in two locations at the same time.
Scientists have developed a detector based on quantum technology that is 4000 times smaller than the detectors currently in use and could detect mid-frequency gravitational waves.
The detector uses nano-scale diamond crystals weighing? 10?^(-17) kg, placed in a quantum spatial superposition using Stern-Gerlach interferometry.
The corresponding author Ryan Marshman (UCL Physics & Astronomy and UCLQ), said: “Quantum gravitational sensors already exist using the superposition principle. These sensors are used to measure Newtonian gravity and make for incredibly accurate measurement devices. The quantum masses used by current quantum gravitational sensors are much smaller such as atoms. Still, experimental work is progressing the new interferometry techniques needed to make our device work to study gravitational waves.”
“We found that our detector could explore a different range of frequencies of gravitational waves compared to LIGO. These frequencies might only be available if scientists build large detectors in space with baselines that are hundreds of thousands of kilometers in size.”