Can quantum systems succumb to their own (gravitational) attraction?
The gravitational interaction is generally considered to be too weak to be easily submitted to systematic experimental investigation in the quantum, microscopic, domain. In this paper we attempt to remedy this situation by considering the gravitational influence exerted by a crystalline nanosphere of mesoscopic size on itself, in the semi-classical, mean field, regime. We study in depth the self-localization process induced by the corresponding nonlinear potential of (gravitational) self-interaction. In particular, we characterize the stability of the associated self-collapsed ground state and estimate the magnitude of the corrections that are due to the internal structure of the object (this includes size-effects and corrections due to the discrete, atomic, structure of the sphere). Finally, we derive an approximated, Gaussian, dynamics which mimics several essential features of the self-gravitating dynamics and, based on numerical results derived from this model, we propose a concrete experimental setting which we believe might, in the foreseeable future, reveal the existence of gravitational self-interaction effects.
Classical and Quantum Gravity
Quantum Physics not elsewhere classified