Quantum Gravity Unveiled – Scientists Crack the Cosmic Code That Baffled Einstein

Gravity Quantum Physics Concept Art

Researchers have developed a method to measure gravity at a microscopic level, marking a significant advancement in understanding quantum gravity. Credit: SciTechDaily.com

Physicists successfully measure gravity in the quantum world, detecting weak gravitational pull on a tiny particle with a new technique that uses levitating magnets, putting scientists closer to solving mysteries of the universe.

Scientists are a step closer to unraveling the mysterious forces of the universe after working out how to measure gravity on a microscopic level.

Experts have never fully understood how the force discovered by Isaac Newton works in the tiny quantum world.

Even Einstein was baffled by quantum gravity and, in his theory of general relativity, said there is no realistic experiment that could show a quantum version of gravity.

A Breakthrough in Quantum Gravity

However, physicists at the University of Southampton, working with scientists in Europe, have now successfully detected a weak gravitational pull on a tiny particle using a new technique.

They claim it could pave the way to finding the elusive quantum gravity theory.

The experiment, published in the Science Advances journal, used levitating magnets to detect gravity on microscopic particles – small enough to border on the quantum realm.

Quantum Experiment Artist Impression

Artist impression of the quantum experiment. Credit: University of Southampton

Pioneering Gravity Research

Lead author Tim Fuchs, from the University of Southampton, said the results could help experts find the missing puzzle piece in our picture of reality.

He added: “For a century, scientists have tried and failed to understand how gravity and quantum mechanics work together.

“Now we have successfully measured gravitational signals at the smallest mass ever recorded, it means we are one step closer to finally realizing how it works in tandem.

“From here we will start scaling the source down using this technique until we reach the quantum world on both sides.

“By understanding quantum gravity, we could solve some of the mysteries of our universe – like how it began, what happens inside black holes, or uniting all forces into one big theory.”

The rules of the quantum realm are still not fully understood by science – but it is believed that particles and forces at a microscopic scale interact differently than regular-sized objects.

Academics from Southampton conducted the experiment with scientists at Leiden University in the Netherlands and the Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies in Italy, with funding from the EU Horizon Europe EIC Pathfinder grant (QuCoM).

Their study used a sophisticated setup involving superconducting devices, known as traps, with magnetic fields, sensitive detectors, and advanced vibration isolation.

It measured a weak pull, just 30aN, on a tiny particle 0.43mg in size by levitating it in freezing temperatures a hundredth of a degree above absolute zero – about minus-273 degrees Celsius.

Expanding the Horizons of Quantum Research

The results open the door for future experiments between even smaller objects and forces, said Professor of Physics Hendrik Ulbricht also at the University of Southampton.

He added: “We are pushing the boundaries of science that could lead to new discoveries about gravity and the quantum world.

“Our new technique that uses extremely cold temperatures and devices to isolate the vibration of the particle will likely prove the way forward for measuring quantum gravity.

“Unravelling these mysteries will help us unlock more secrets about the universe’s very fabric, from the tiniest particles to the grandest cosmic structures.”

Reference: “Measuring gravity with milligram levitated masses” by Tim M. Fuchs, Dennis G. Uitenbroek, Jaimy Plugge, Noud van Halteren, Jean-Paul van Soest, Andrea Vinante, Hendrik Ulbricht and Tjerk H. Oosterkamp, 23 February 2024, Science Advances.
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.adk2949

31 Comments on "Quantum Gravity Unveiled – Scientists Crack the Cosmic Code That Baffled Einstein"

  1. Bao-hua ZHANG | March 8, 2024 at 2:49 am | Reply

    Unravelling these mysteries will help us unlock more secrets about the universe’s very fabric, from the tiniest particles to the grandest cosmic structures.
    Please answer:
    1. Is what was observed in the experiment the physical reality of quantum mechanics?
    2. Are topological vortices and their antivortices gravitational fields?
    3. Does a topological vortex have mass?
    4. What is the physical essence of mass?
    5. Isn’t it ugly to face the spin of topological vortices like an ostrich with its back to do?
    6. Are so-called academic journals (such as Physical Review Letters, Nature, Science, etc.) scientific and honest?
    7. Why are opposed and hated the following statements by some people and so-called academic journals?
    and so on.

    Today, we have already entered the era of the internet. With the help of artificial intelligence and big data, discussions on scientific knowledge have become open and transparent. However, a group of editors of so-called academic journals (such as Physical Review Letters, Nature, Science, etc.) are mystifying themselves. They only care about their own so-called sufficiently high priority rating, general significance, discipline, novelty, etc., and do not care about what science and pseudoscience are.

    Science and pseudoscience are not determined by a publication, an organization or a person, nor by you or me, but by mathematics the final say. Physical models must be based on mathematics or mathematical models in order to be scientific, convincing, and in accordance with natural laws.

    The branch of mathematics known as topology has become a cornerstone of modern physics. The perpetually swirling topological vortices defy traditional physics’ expectations. A physical properties of topological vortices is their to spontaneously begin to change periodically in time, even though the system does not experience corresponding periodic interference. Therefore, in the interaction of topological vortices, time is both absolute and relative,and physics often requires treating space and time at the same level.

    Low-dimensional spacetime matter is the foundation of high-dimensional spacetime matter. Low-dimensional spacetime matter (such as topological vortex) can form new material structures and derive more complex physical properties via interactions and self-organization. It is extremely wrong and irresponsible to imagine low dimensional spacetime matter using high-dimensional spacetime matter.

    Science must follow mathematical rules. For example, the Standard Model (SM) is considered to be one of the most significant achievements of physics in the 20th century. However, the magnetic moment of μ particle is larger than expected, revealed by a g-2 experiment at Fermilab, suggests that the established theory (such as SM) of fundamental particles is incomplete. Furthermore, the SM omitting gravitation, it not involved the time problem and when the particle movement starts. Mathematics is the foundation of science. Physics must respect the scientific nature of mathematics and mathematical models. The SM must be based on mathematical models in order to be scientific, convincing, and in line with natural laws.

    I hope researchers are not fooled by the pseudoscientific theories of the Physical Review Letters (PRL), and hope more people dare to stand up and fight against rampant pseudoscience.
    The so-called academic journals (such as Physical Review Letters, Nature, Science, etc.) firmly believe that two high-dimensional spacetime objects (such as two sets of cobalt-60) rotating in opposite directions can be transformed into two objects that mirror each other, is a typical case of pseudoscience rampant.
    If researchers are really interested in Science and Physics, you can browse https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/643404671 and https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/595280873.

    • The simplest explanation is that your ideas are crankery. Occam’s razor and all that. As Pauli once put it, you aren’t even wrong.

      BTW, math is not the foundation of science. That is the mistake the ancient Greeks made, that you can start from self evident axioms and logically deduce your way to understanding the entire universe.

      It didn’t work and for a good reason. Math is a description. It can describe things that are right as well as things that are not. The decider is observation and experiment. Nature will tell you who she is. But if you try to tell nature who she is supposed to be, that’s the short road to exploding space shuttles.

      If you’re looking at math, you already missed the physics. Physical reasoning is what you use to get to the right representation and that is always based on a deep knowledge of the existing data on the phenomena.

      • Bao-hua ZHANG | March 8, 2024 at 2:26 pm | Reply

        Very good! If you’re looking at math, you already missed the physics. The pride of today’s physics. A proud pupil of Physics Review Letters (PRL).

        You can go home now. Please follow the advice of the Physical Review Letters (PRL) to have your father and mother rotate in opposite directions, so that they can be observed as two things that mirror each other. You don’t have to tell me if your observation is laughing or crying.

        • Torbjörn Larsson | March 9, 2024 at 2:04 pm | Reply

          @Bao-hua ZHANG: pjcamp is correct, you are not even wrong. You make claims on science which is wrong (say, that “topological vortices” are relevant for quantum field theory as such).

          And then that general claim is made you don’t try to point to counter examples (but how could you), you simply resort to pleading for a stop of criticism and to name calling. (Your parents would be ashamed of you. :-/)

          • Bao-hua ZHANG | March 9, 2024 at 3:57 pm |

            Sorry! It’s just a simple children’s game. Your understanding goes beyond the thinking of adults.

    • Why does anything quantum bring out the crazies over here at scitech? It’s a simple experiment with simple to understand results. The interesting but wi) be as they progress down to truly quantum sizes and scales, if the theories hold up or not. No need to bring in quantum vortecies and to question all of reality – yet.

      • Bao-hua ZHANG | March 9, 2024 at 2:57 am | Reply

        Please answer:
        1. What is the difference between science and pseudoscience?
        2. What is the basis for mathematics to become the language of science?
        3. Does mathematical models have guiding significance for physical reality?
        4. What is the difference between mathematical models and physical reality in two-dimensional spacetime?
        5. Are topological vortices two-dimensional spacetime matter?
        6. Is the spin and symmetry of topological vortices scientific?
        7. Is the result always the same when observing the same object from different perspectives?
        8. Is the pattern observed by color blindness the same as that of a normal person?
        9. Is scientific experimentation omnipotent?
        10. Are the quantum scales described by quantum mechanics necessarily a high-dimensional spacetime object?
        11. Is the spin of a topological vortex left-handed or right-handed?
        and so on.

        If you are really interested in science and physics, you can browse https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/479457051 and the comments on the https://scitechdaily.com/quantum-revolution-redefining-physics-with-fractional-charges/.

        • Torbjörn Larsson | March 9, 2024 at 2:11 pm | Reply

          Please don’t post pseudoscience links.

          I’ll admit though that your reaction of reposting your initial conspiracy theory on science (regarding the publishing system) in a more rational form is two steps removed from your earlier attacks on the messenger.

          But it doesn’t respond to the observation of crankery.

          [The summary answer to that series of questions is testing, including that science as a tool is well tested.]

  2. Ralph Johnson | March 8, 2024 at 4:50 am | Reply

    Every practical with a charge state has gravity, gravity is the electric field energy produced, that’s why dark matter has no signature for display.

    • Ralph Johnson | March 8, 2024 at 4:51 am | Reply

      Sorry I mean Particle

    • No it isn’t.

      Electromagnetism can either attract or repel. Gravity only attracts. Electromagnetism is a vastly stronger force than gravity. I could go on. They aren’t even close to being the same thing.

      • WRONG!!! Only stupid people say the Gravity is the weakest of the 4 forces (now 3 cause Einstein says gravity isn’t a force LMAO) based on the illogical and nonsensical reasoning that wheneva u lift up off a chair, thats u overcoming the full gravitational force of the earth LMAO HAHAHAHAHA!!! Whoeva says this is a moron!!! U CANNOT OVERCOME A FORCE THAT U R COMPLETELY IMMERSED INSIDE OF!!!! But physicts aren’t always the most logical as they rely on theoretical math instead of logical/rational reasoning skills to determine truth!

        • Anyone who even TRIES to make such a bold claim that is backed up by nothing and can only respond with “WRONG”, clearly has no idea how science works. Care to try again, with something that even remotely takes the form of science or a real hypothesis?

        • Torbjörn Larsson | March 9, 2024 at 2:18 pm | Reply

          Gravity has to be the weakest force since it embeds all other interaction energy in a larger system (of gravity).

          But we can just note that the reason why dipole forces do not rule the larger scale of the universe is because they cancel out (since the universe has zero net charge). Gravity curving space has to be unipolar – no antigravity mass “charge” – and so can sum to larger forces and eventually create black holes. (Though they need electromagnetism for it, dark matter do not collapse to black holes.)

          Note though that space is on average flat, testifying to gravity weakness.

        • > “now 3 cause Einstein says gravity isn’t a force”
          This guy is my new favorite quack because he implies Einstein’s opinions on gravity are recent. Like Einstein popped up with his newfangled opinion on gravity earlier this month to weigh in. Maybe he read about it on CNN.

  3. Measuring such a small gravitational force is certainly a technical accomplishment, but I have seen nothing in stories about this that demonstrate gravity exists in discrete quanta.

  4. There’s no theory here, only an observation. Meaning the title is a lie when it claims scientists to have “Cracked the Cosmic Code” That means this article is click bait and scitechdaily has sold their integrity for a dirty buck.

  5. james raymond | March 8, 2024 at 11:45 am | Reply

    I don’t get it. 0.43 mg is huge, about the size of a fruit fly. A dead fruit fly will fall to the ground, demonstrating gravity’s effect on it. What does this experiment show that is different?

    • They are using a new tech ique to measure the gravitational force down to the smallest amount, yet. The point, as stated in the article, is not that they detected gravity, but that they even COULD detect the gravitational signal. Next step is making it smaller and refining the analysis until it truly does reach the quantum scale.

  6. Fixed gravity for you. | March 8, 2024 at 6:59 pm | Reply

    “Scientists Crack the Cosmic Code That Baffled Einstein”

    Not really, all they offer observationally is MOND and no quantum gravity anomalies are due to MOND, that’s for sure.

    • Torbjörn Larsson | March 9, 2024 at 2:26 pm | Reply

      ? I don’t think you read the paper. It starts:

      “Einstein’s theory of general relativity (GR), our widely accepted theory of gravity, has seen different experimental confirmations (1, 2) by observing massive astronomical objects and their dynamics, most recently by the direct observation of gravitational waves from the merger of two black holes (3) and the imaging of a black hole by the event horizon telescope (4), as well as dedicated satellite missions for testing the basic principle of GR—the equivalence principle (5) and frame dragging effects (6).”

      MOND and similar alternatives died long since with the first multimessenger observation of a neutron binary merger. [“Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity”, Katia Moskvitch, Quanta Magazine, 2018] They shouldn’t be mentioned except when fringe scientists float a theory most consider rejected by observation.

      • Fixed gravity for you. | March 9, 2024 at 10:33 pm | Reply

        Comment was about the sellout crazy article title. Your GR sales PR is likewise always unreadable.

        GR significantly underestimates frame dragging effects because (as is well-known) GR is not quantizable and says nothing reasonable about quantizing gravity.

        GR fails to express emergence of cooled nucleonic gravitational retro-reflectivity and fails to conserve an ultralow rate of angular momentum. because, again, GR is not quantizable. Nonetheless there’s clearly an over-controlling global gravity pride cartel that among other things pretends GR’s gravitational time-rate shifting is validated in GPS when actually it’s not but of course most military people won’t mind that popularizers are funded to get it wrong all the time.

  7. Torbjörn Larsson | March 9, 2024 at 1:58 pm | Reply

    Unfortunately the experiment is not very convincing yet. They use a small mass and get 35 % of the modeled signal with lots of noise. It would be more convincing if they started at larger masses for both test and outside mass and run a series of experiments to see how the huge discrepancy scales.

    The article does not discuss development of the field much. But a straightforward effective quantum field theory has been developed long ago and is consistent with general relativity except on highest energy Planck scales (where both theories break down).

    The potential problem with these theories seem to lie elsewhere. They are both effective and so need observations to pin down parameters, instead of being independent on observation as some would like to see. (But that is an odd requirement on scientific theories.)

  8. Ralph Johnson | March 9, 2024 at 3:22 pm | Reply

    The scale (size ) is the important part of the experiment.

  9. This is one of the best Gravity formula using M theory.
    2019 Meeting of the Division of Particles & Fields of the American Physical Society
    Author: John Brandenburg
    The GEMS ( GEM Super) Unification Theory is based on simple physical models yet appears to validate the well-known mathematical path of beginning with the Hilbert Action principle and then expanding it to include first 1 hidden dimension after KK ( Kaluza-Klein), going from 4 dimensional Minkowski space where the Hidden 5th dimension is assumed to “deploy”to some much larger ideal size from the Planck length, M -> MxS1 and then in a similar process , acquiring a new dimension, proposed by Wolfgang Pauli, so that the
    result is M x S2 satisfying a SO(3) symmetry. The hidden dimensions in this theory are associated physically with electric charge and finally quark “color”charge in the S2 phase. The theory begins with a physical model of Gravity fields based on the “ExB” drift of plasma physics [1] and results in the covariant formula.
    Notably, the theory results in a formulas for “G”, the Newton Gravitation constant , and the proton mass, that are highly accurate and easily derived from the requirement that the deployment of the K-K hidden dimension separates both EM and gravity and electrons and protons from each other and the Planck Mass, MP, with the 5th dimension deployment from the Planck scale. A crucial parameter in the GEM theory is the Lepton-Baryon end-member (proton-electron) mass ratio :σ = (mp/me)1/2 = 42.8503…

  10. David Vanderschel | March 9, 2024 at 5:47 pm | Reply

    Measuring a gravitational effect at the quantum level may be an impressive achievement. But it still leaves us a long way from having a comprehensive quantum theory that includes gravitation. It does not even guarantee that there can be such a theory. I regard the title of this article as being rather extravagant clickbait.

  11. Fixed gravity for you. | March 9, 2024 at 10:55 pm | Reply

    Portable quantum gravitometers are apparently available on the market now, as far as I know, and they measure the difference between entangled atoms divided into taking different paths, which some people apparently like to pretend means the atoms are individually split, Young’s particle-style (particle count/energy non-accountant version), into two parts to follow two different gravitational paths for comparisons. A lot of people apparently would also like to memory-hole that little quantum gravitometer reality but all they’ve been able to do so far is spook it up with entanglement woo, although it’s nothing more than a gravity field path difference that is slowing different individual phase-synced atoms differently.

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