Colloquium: Inequivalence between Gravitational Mass and Energy at Microscopic and Macroscopic Levels

Andrei Lebed, University of Arizona
Friday, March 31, 2017 - 3:00pm
PAS 220

We discuss some quantum effects in General Relativity and introduce quantum mechanical operators for passive and active gravitational masses of the simplest composite object Ð a hydrogen atom. Using Gedanken experiment, we show that the famous EinsteinÕs equation, E=mc2, is broken with small probability for passive gravitational mass of the atom. It is important that the expectation values of passive and active gravitational mass operators are shown to satisfy the above mentioned equation for stationary quantum states. Nevertheless, we also demonstrate that the above mentioned EinsteinÕs equation is broken for the expectation values of both active and passive gravitational masses for superpositions of stationary quantum states. We discuss possible experiments to discover these phenomena at macroscopic level.