The properties of naturally occurring gravitational eigenstates

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review


The experimental demonstration by Nesvizhevsky et al. (2002, 2003) that neutrons can reside in quantized stationary states formed in the gravitational field of the Earth raises the question as to whether gravitational eigenstates might exist naturally elsewhere in the universe and indicates a need to examine in more detail their general theoretical properties. Despite the almost universal study of quantum theory applied to atomic and molecular states, only recently has work been done (Ernest, 2009) to investigate the properties of hypothetical stationary states that should exist in similar types of gravitational central potential wells, particularly those with large quantum numbers. Although much weaker than electromagnetic forces, gravitational wells should be able to sustain strongly-bound eigenstates simply because, unlike charge, mass is able to accumulate on large scales.In this talk, we discuss some of the expected properties of gravitational eigenstates, including their radiative lifetimes, structural features and potential for interaction. Surprisingly, we find that some of the high angular momentum eigenstates have extremely long lifetimes, are weakly interacting, and exhibit a resulting stability that belies the multitude of channels available for state transfer. The unusual properties of these gravitational eigenstates make them excellent candidates for Dark Matter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGRANIT 2010
Subtitle of host publicationWorkshop on experimental and theoretical approaches to quantum states of neutrons in gravitational field.
Place of PublicationEurope?
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventGRANIT - La Côte des Chavants - 74310 Les Houches - FRANCE, France
Duration: 14 Feb 201019 Feb 2010




Dive into the research topics of 'The properties of naturally occurring gravitational eigenstates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this