May 8 – 12, 2023
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
America/Toronto timezone

Quantum Superpositions of Black Holes

May 10, 2023, 11:45 AM
PI/4-405 - Bob Room (Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics)

PI/4-405 - Bob Room

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics



Robert Mann (University of Waterloo)


If relativistic gravitation has a quantum description, it must be meaningful to consider a spacetime metric in a genuine quantum superposition. Here I present a new operational framework for studying “superpositions of spacetimes” via model particle detectors. After presenting the general approach, I show how it can be applied to describe a spacetime generated by a BTZ black hole in a superposition of masses and how such detectors would respond. The detector exhibits signatures of quantum-gravitational effects reminiscent of Bekenstein’s seminal conjecture concerning the quantized mass spectrum of black holes in quantum gravity. I provide further remarks in distinguishing spacetime superpositions that are genuinely quantum-gravitational, notably with reference to recent proposals to test gravitationally-induced entanglement, and those in which a putative superposition can be re-expressed in terms of dynamics on a single, fixed spacetime background.

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