Vendredi 11 décembre 2015 à 14h00
Auditoire Stueckelberg, Ecole de Physique

Surprising Quantum Bouncing

Valery Nesvizhevsky, ILL Grenoble

Neutrons not only fall classically in the gravitational field of the Earth as potatoes and other normal objects do; at certain conditions, they reveal quantum behavior, or even from well- defined gravitational quantum states. Due to relative simplicity of quantum mechanical rules for solving this problem, we could predict analytically the motion of a neutron in a gravitational field in the vicinity of a reflecting surface. Such a bouncing neutron can have only certain, discrete values of energy. These extremely small energy values turn out to be very sensitive probes to the presence of even tiny extra interactions, in particular those between the neutron and the mirror. Moreover, several emerging fields of research profit from experience and knowledge gained in the recent experimental observation of gravitational quantum states of ultra cold neutrons, and extend the developed methods to atoms and anti-atoms, to whispering-gallery effect and other domains, thus providing more and more applications for the method. Quantum bouncing particles could play their role in quantum tests of the equivalence principle, in explorations of gravitational properties of anti- matter, in searching for new fundamental short-range and other interactions beyond the Standard Model of particle physics, in surface and thin-layer physics, in chemistry, and so on. We will mention result of a few previous years and project nearest developments.