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  Does this Toy model work with Equivalence principle and Newtonian Gravity?

+ 0 like - 1 dislike

Prove or disprove the below toy model for non-relativistic quantum gravity (in absence of other forces) is agreeable (does it violate) with the equivalence principle and Newtonian gravity 

\frac{-1}{\psi^2 (x,y,z)} (\nabla \psi) \cdot (\alpha \psi) + \frac{1}{\psi(x,y,z)} (\alpha \cdot \nabla) \psi = 4 \pi G \rho_m

Where $\alpha  = (\frac{-i}{m \hbar}([H,p_x],[H,p_y],[H,p_z]] )$,  $H$ is the Hamiltonian, $\rho_m$ is the mass density, $p_x,p_y,p_z$ is the momentum in the $x,y,z$ directions, $\psi$ is the wave-function (of say an electron in a gravitational field). 

Given a particular mass density one can find a corresponding potential energy and thereby find the energy-eigenvalues as done in normal quantum mechanics.  
How the Toy model was constructed
Let, us first begin with the equivalence principle's famous thought experiment. Someone is stuck within a lift, drops, an electron and thereby is unable to conclude if it fell due gravity or him being accelerated by say  a rocket attached to the lift. Einstein's conclusion was that no matter what one did one would never be able to distinguish between the two situations. But what if the person in the lift starts to measure the the standard deviation of the electron's acceleration by shining light on it?? Answer: He will get some standard deviation but will but will be unable to differentiate as to why this phenomena is occurring. But, note if this were a purely classical result one would conclude that the standard deviation attribute to an experimental errors. However, what about quantum mechanics? What would it tell us about the standard deviation?

The Quantum Analysis
We continue motivated by the above thought experiment. First we define the velocity operator in quantum mechanics using Heisenberg's equation of motion:

\dot x = v = \frac{[H,x]}{i \hbar} = [\frac{p^2}{2m},x] = \frac{p}{m}

Now to define the acceleration operator. One defines the following:

\dot v = \alpha =\frac{[H,v]}{i \hbar} =  \frac{-i}{\hbar}[V(x),\frac{p}{m}]

Where $V(x)$ is the potential energy, $H$ is the Hamiltonian, $x$ is the position, $\alpha$ is the acceleration operator and $v$ is the velocity operator.

We note:

$$ [x, \alpha] = 0$$  

While $$ [p, \alpha] \neq 0$$

Note using the above an uncertainty principle can be built but that will not be explicitly stated here. 
Measuring the acceleration
Let's continue with the experiment and work in $3$ dimensions with standard Cartesian co-ordinates $x,y,z$. The person inside the lift measures acceleration this measurement is independent of the fact of what is causing the acceleration (gravity or an external force).

Let us assume the acceleration measured a point $x$:

\alpha_x \psi(x,y,z) = a(x,y,z) \psi(x,y,z) \implies \frac{1}{\psi(x,y,z)} \alpha \psi(x,y,z) = a(x,y,z)

where $a(x,y,z)$ is the acceleration eigenvalue of $\psi$ as a function of $x,y,z$

Let us measure the acceleration at $x + \epsilon$:

\alpha_x \psi(x+ \epsilon,y,z) = a(x+ \epsilon,y,z) \psi(x+ \epsilon,y,z) \implies \frac{1}{\psi(x+ \epsilon,y,z)} \alpha \psi(x+\epsilon,y,z) = a(x+ \epsilon,y,z)

Subtracting the above $2$ equations and dividing by $\epsilon$:

\frac{\frac{1}{\psi(x+ \epsilon,y,z)} \alpha_x \psi(x+\epsilon,y,z) - \frac{1}{\psi(x,y,z)} \alpha_x \psi(x,y,z)}{\epsilon} = \frac{a(x+ \epsilon,y,z) - a(x,y,z)}{\epsilon}

Where $\epsilon$ is a function of position and hence commutes with acceleration. 

\frac{(\frac{1}{\psi(x,y,z)} - \frac{\epsilon}{\psi^2(x,y,z)}\frac{\partial \psi}{\partial x}) \alpha_x (\psi(x,y,z)+ \epsilon  \frac{\partial \psi}{\partial x}) - \frac{1}{\psi(x,y,z)} \alpha_x \psi(x,y,z)}{\epsilon} = \frac{a(x+ \epsilon,y,z) - a(x,y,z)}{\epsilon}

Taking the limit $\epsilon$ to $0$ :

\frac{-1}{\psi^2 (x,y,z)} \frac{\partial \psi}{\partial x} \alpha_x \psi + \frac{1}{\psi(x,y,z)}\alpha_x\frac{\partial \psi}{\partial x} =  \lim_{\epsilon \to 0} \frac{a(x+ \epsilon,y,z) - a(x,y,z)}{\epsilon}

Proceeding in a similar manner for the co-ordinates $y$ and $z$:

\frac{-1}{\psi^2 (x,y,z)} \frac{\partial \psi}{\partial y} \alpha_y \psi + \frac{1}{\psi(x,y,z)}\alpha_y\frac{\partial \psi}{\partial y} =  \lim_{\epsilon \to 0} \frac{a(x,y+ \epsilon,z) - a(x,y,z)}{\epsilon}
\frac{-1}{\psi^2 (x,y,z)} \frac{\partial \psi}{\partial z} \alpha_z \psi + \frac{1}{\psi(x,y,z)}\alpha_z\frac{\partial \psi}{\partial z} =  \lim_{\epsilon \to 0} \frac{a(x,y,z+ \epsilon) - a(x,y,z)}{\epsilon}

Adding all $3$ equations.
\frac{-1}{\psi^2 (x,y,z)} (\nabla \psi) \cdot (\alpha \psi) + \frac{1}{\psi(x,y,z)} (\alpha \cdot \nabla) \psi =  \nabla \cdot a

Where $\alpha$ is $(\alpha_x,\alpha_y,\alpha_z)$ and $a$ is the acceleration vector. Note $a$ must be $-g$ where $g$ is the gravitational field for an outside observer. We can now use Guass's law for gravity.  

\frac{-1}{\psi^2 (x,y,z)} (\nabla \psi) \cdot (\alpha \psi) + \frac{1}{\psi(x,y,z)} (\alpha \cdot \nabla) \psi = - \nabla \cdot g =  4 \pi G \rho_m

Writing it explicitly:

\frac{-1}{\psi^2 (x,y,z)} (\nabla \psi) \cdot (\alpha \psi) + \frac{1}{\psi(x,y,z)} (\alpha \cdot \nabla) \psi = - \nabla \cdot g =  4 \pi G \rho_m

Where $\alpha  = (\frac{-i}{m \hbar}([H,p_x],[H,p_y],[H,p_z]] ) $

Writing the above explicitly:

\frac{-1}{\psi^2 (x,y,z)} (\nabla \psi) \cdot (\alpha \psi) + \frac{1}{\psi(x,y,z)} (\alpha \cdot \nabla) \psi = 4 \pi G \rho_m

Where $\alpha  = (\frac{-i}{m \hbar}([H,p_x],[H,p_y],[H,p_z]] )$,  $H$ is the Hamiltonian, $\rho_m$ is the mass density, $p_x,p_y,p_z$ is the momentum in the $x,y,z$ directions.

Hence, in conclusion:

\frac{-1}{\psi^2 (x,y,z)} (\nabla \psi) \cdot (\alpha \psi) + \frac{1}{\psi(x,y,z)} (\alpha \cdot \nabla) \psi = 4 \pi G \rho_m

H\psi_n = - \hbar^2 \frac{\nabla^2}{2m} \psi_n + V_{\text{eff}} \psi_n = E_n \psi_n \end{equation}

\langle \psi | \psi \rangle =1 \end{equation}

All $3$ equations must be solved simultaneously in order to determine the effective potential and the wavefunction. Hence, given any empirically determined mass density one can find an effective potential and it's corresponding wavefunction. 

asked Jan 5, 2018 in Theoretical Physics by Asaint (90 points) [ revision history ]
edited Jan 6, 2018 by Asaint

I believe what you are working towards to is something like the Schrödinger–Newton equation. However, if you really do end up with that equation, this is only a quasi-classical treatment - the $\psi$ is quantum but not the gravitational field. Taking something quantum and coupling it to classical gravity does not amount to quantum gravity!

@Void I think of the above not as a fundamental theory but simply a "toy model." My goal is simple: construct a theory which is in accordance with the equivalence principle and Newtonian gravity measure deviations from the standard theory. Nowhere have I made the claim this is a fundamental theory ... Also the above is definitely not the Schrodinger-Newton Equation. I would recommend you go through "How the toy model was constructed" before you make a claim all I have done is "Taking something quantum and coupling it to classical gravity." I have used the equivalence principle which is true in both classical gravity and general relativity. 

@Asaint It is entirely clear to me how you construct the model, but you do not give two last key pieces, and that is 1) how $\rho_m$ is determined, and 2) how  $H$ is determined. If you put $\rho_m = m |\psi|^2$ with $m$ the mass of the particle, and $H = -\hbar^2 \Delta/2m + m\Phi_N$, where $\Phi_N$ is the Newtonian gravitational potential, then your equations are exactly the Schrödinger-Newton equations. If you specify $\rho_m$ and $H$ in a different way please say so. However, without such a specification the equations do not amount even to a toy model because no dynamics are really given.

@Void $\rho_m$ is determined empirically or from the Newtonian theory I have edited the conclusion to make it clearer what I mean. $\rho_m$ is the mass density of the external object say that of Earth and $\psi$ is the wavefunction of the electron. Hopefully this makes more sense now. 

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