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Title: Experimental Constraints of the Exotic Shearing of Space-Time

The Holometer program is a search for rst experimental evidence that space-time has quantum structure. The detector consists of a pair of co-located 40-m power-recycled interferometers whose outputs are read out synchronously at 50 MHz, achieving sensitivity to spatiallycorrelated uctuations in dierential position on time scales shorter than the light-crossing time of the instruments. Unlike gravitational wave interferometers, which time-resolve transient geometrical disturbances in the spatial background, the Holometer is searching for a universal, stationary quantization noise of the background itself. This dissertation presents the nal results of the Holometer Phase I search, an experiment congured for sensitivity to exotic coherent shearing uctuations of space-time. Measurements of high-frequency cross-spectra of the interferometer signals obtain sensitivity to spatially-correlated eects far exceeding any previous measurement, in a broad frequency band extending to 7.6 MHz, twice the inverse light-crossing time of the apparatus. This measurement is the statistical aggregation of 2.1 petabytes of 2-byte dierential position measurements obtained over a month-long exposure time. At 3 signicance, it places an upper limit on the coherence scale of spatial shear two orders of magnitude below the Planck length. The result demonstrates the viability of this novel spatially-correlated interferometric detection technique to reach unprecedented sensitivity tomore » coherent deviations of space-time from classicality, opening the door for direct experimental tests of theories of relational quantum gravity.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1329050
Report Number(s):
FERMILAB-THESIS--2016-20
1491642
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-07CH11359
Resource Type:
Thesis/Dissertation
Research Org:
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS