Present Status and Future Challenges of Non-Interferometric Tests of Collapse Models


The superposition principle is the cornerstone of quantum mechanics, leading to a variety of genuinely quantum effects. Whether the principle applies also to macroscopic systems or, instead, there is a progressive breakdown when moving to larger scales, is a fundamental and still open question. Spontaneous wavefunction collapse models predict the latter option, thus questioning the universality of quantum mechanics. Technological advances allow to challenge collapse models and the quantum superposition principle more and more with a variety of different experiments. Among them, non-interferometric experiments proved to be the most effective in testing these models. We provide an overview of such experiments, including cold atoms, optomechanical systems, X-rays detection, bulk heating as well as comparisons with cosmological observations. We also discuss avenues for future dedicated experiments, which aim at further testing collapse models and the validity of quantum mechanics.

Nature Physics
Mauro Paternostro
Mauro Paternostro
Full Professor