Researchers measure quantum gravity for the first time

Physics, that incessantly curious discipline that delves into the mysteries of the Universe, marked a transcendental milestone in its long history of discoveries. Researchers from the University of Southampton, in collaboration with colleagues from Leiden University in the Netherlands and the Institute of Photonics and Nanotechnologies in Italy, opened the door to a new field: quantum gravity.

Researchers measure quantum gravity for the first time1

This scientific feat, whose significance can hardly be overestimated, promises to revolutionize our understanding of the cosmos and its fundamental laws. This breakthrough was realized thanks to an innovative approach involving the use of levitating magnets, a sophisticated technology that allowed detect the presence of gravitation in tiny particles. Scientists were able to observe a weak gravitational attraction on a tiny particle.

An unprecedented milestone that challenges the premises established by Albert Einstein in his Theory of Relativity. Einstein maintained that no realistic experiment would be able to expose a quantum version of gravity. However, this group of researchers demonstrated the opposite.

He experimented that measured quantum gravity.

The experiment involved microscopic particles small enough to sit in the limbo between the conventional world and the quantum domain. This was achieved through the use of magnetic superconductors and devices known as traps. Together with sensitive detectors and meticulous vibration protection, they created the ideal conditions for making levitate a particle of just 0.43 milligrams at extremely low temperatures, just one hundredth of a degree above absolute zero.

In this surreal scenario, the scientists measured an attractive force of just 30 attoNewtons (30×10-18 N) on the levitated particle, a monumental achievement in physics.

Scientific feat.

Tim Fuch, a leading researcher at the University of Southampton, articulates this scientific triumph as a giant step towards the unification of gravity and quantum mechanics. Two pillars of physics that until now followed separate paths. This discovery opens the possibility of beginning to explore the scale of the source using this technique, with the aim of penetrating even deeper into the quantum world.

“Now that we have successfully measured gravitational signals at the smallest mass ever recorded, we are one step closer to finally understanding how they work together,” the researcher noted. The promise of understanding quantum gravity is potentially unlocking some of the deepest riddles of the Universe. Like the origin of the cosmos, the mysteries hidden at the heart of black holes and the search for a unified theory that harmonizes all the fundamental forces.

Deciphering the cosmos.

Hendrik Ulbricht, professor of Physics at the University of Southampton, reinforces this view by stating that they are expanding the frontiers of what is known and venturing into unexplored terrain. Which could enable new insights into gravity and quantum behavior. The applied methodology, which emphasizes temperatures close to absolute zero and advanced vibration isolationis emerging as the definitive approach to unraveling the mysteries of quantum gravity.

With this advance, science stands on the threshold of a new horizon of knowledge, one that promises to reveal the very fabric of the universe on a scale hitherto impossible to observe. This achievement not only represents a technical feat of monumental importance, but also brings us one step closer to answering some of the most fundamental questions about our place in the cosmos.

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