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Scientists take another step towards understanding gravity in the quantum world  Sciences

Scientists take another step towards understanding gravity in the quantum world Sciences

Science is closer to unlocking the secrets of the forces of the universe. In a study published on Friday (23). In the magazine Advancement of scienceResearchers from universities in the Netherlands, Italy and the United Kingdom were able to detect a weak force of gravity on a small particle, using a new technique.

According to the authors, this could pave the way for proving the theory of quantum gravity. Scientists haven't fully understood how this force, described by Isaac Newton in 1687, works in the subatomic world.

Even Albert Einstein was puzzled by quantum gravity, and stated in his theory of general relativity that no real-world experiment could demonstrate a quantum version of this force. “For a century, scientists have tried, and failed, to understand how gravity and quantum mechanics work together,” says study leader Tim Fox of the University of Southampton in the UK.

The experiment used flying magnets to detect gravity in microscopic particles, which are small enough to approach the quantum realm, meaning anything smaller than an atom. “Now that we have successfully measured gravitational signals at the smallest mass ever recorded, it means we are one step closer to finally understanding how they work together,” Fox points out. In the current situation.

According to the researcher, by understanding quantum gravity, it will be possible to solve some of the mysteries of the universe: how it began, what happens inside black holes, or unifying all forces in a grand theory.

The team behind the research used a sophisticated setup involving superconducting devices, known as traps, with magnetic fields, sensitive detectors and advanced vibration isolation.

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In doing so, they measured a weak gravity of 30 tonnewtons (aN) on a particle weighing just 0.43 mg, and held it at freezing temperatures one-hundredths of a degree above absolute zero – about 273 degrees Celsius.

Professor Hendrik Ulbricht, also from the University of Southampton, comments: “Our new technique, which uses extremely low temperatures and devices to isolate particle vibration, is likely to be the way forward for measuring quantum gravity.” Discover more secrets about the fabric of the universe, from the smallest particles to the largest cosmic structures.