Gravitational self-localization for spherical masses

Markku Jääskeläinen
2012 Physical Review A. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics  
This is the published version of a paper published in Physical Review A. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics. Citation for the original published paper (version of record): Jääskeläinen, M. (2012) Gravitational self-localization for spherical masses. In this work, I consider the center-of-mass wave function for a homogenous sphere under the influence of the self-interaction due to Newtonian gravity. I solve for the ground state numerically and calculate the average radius as a measure of its
more » ... as a measure of its size. For small masses, M 10 −17 kg, the radial size is independent of density, and the ground state extends beyond the extent of the sphere. For masses larger than this, the ground state is contained within the sphere and to a good approximation given by the solution for an effective radial harmonic-oscillator potential. This work thus determines the limits of applicability of the point-mass Newton Schrödinger equations for spherical masses. In addition, I calculate the fringe visibility for matter-wave interferometry and find that in the low-mass case, interferometry can in principle be performed, whereas for the latter case, it becomes impossible. Based on this, I discuss this transition as a possible boundary for the quantum-classical crossover, independent of the usually evoked environmental decoherence. The two regimes meet at sphere sizes R ≈ 10 −7 m, and the density of the material causes only minor variations in this value.
doi:10.1103/physreva.86.052105 fatcat:4avv5pvjvncwfd5b76iibjo3rq