Twin Paradox Experiment Enables More Accurate Sensors, Clocks

An experiment that could result in more precise sensors and clocks will test Einstein’s twin paradox using quantum particles in a superposition state.

According to the twin paradox, time can move at different rates for individuals depending on how close they are to a large mass or how quickly they are moving. For instance, a clock traveling quickly or near a mass will tick more slowly than a reference clock far away from any massive object. As a result, there is a “twin paradox” in which one twin leaves for a fast-paced trip while the other remains behind.

The traveling twin would be much younger when reunited because varying amounts of time would have passed. According to researchers, this paradox is one of the most counterintuitive forecasts of relativity theory.

The twin paradox will be realized quantum mechanically by the experts using cutting-edge laser technology. In the quantum form, only one particle will move in a quantum superposition rather than identical twins. It implies that the atom will simultaneously be in two places. It will be in each place, which differs from randomly assigning the particle to either. It is an additional method for an object to exist that is only permitted by quantum physics.

The team will demonstrate how a quantum version of the special-relativistic twin problem can be created using closed light-pulse interferometers without clock transitions during the pulse sequence that are not sensitive to gravitational time dilation in a linear potential. The team has suggested experimental geometry for a quantum-clock interferometer to separate this effect.

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