Space QUEST mission proposal: Experimentally testing decoherence due to gravity

Joshi SK, Pienaar J, Ralph TC, Cacciapuoti L, Mccutcheon W, Rarity J, Giggenbach D, Lim JG, Makarov V, Fuentes I, Scheidl T, Beckert E, Bourennane M, Bruschi DE, Cabello A, Capmany J, Carrasco-Casado A, Diamanti E, Dusek M, Elser D, Gulinatti A, Hadfield RH, Jennewein T, Kaltenbaek R, Krainak MA, Lo HK, Marquardt C, Milburn G, Peev M, Poppe A, Pruneri V, Renner R, Salomon C, Skaar J, Solomos N, Stipcevic M, Torres JP, Toyoshima M, Villoresi P, Walrnsley I, Weihs G, Weinfurter H, Zeilinger A, Zukowski M, Ursin R (2018)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2018


Book Volume: 20

Article Number: 063016

Journal Issue: 6

DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/aac58b


Models of quantum systems on curved space-times lack sufficient experimental verification. Some speculative theories suggest that quantum correlations, such as entanglement, may exhibit different behavior to purely classical correlations in curved space. By measuring this effect or lack thereof, we can test the hypotheses behind several such models. For instance, as predicted by Ralph et al [5] and Ralph and Pienaar [1], a bipartite entangled system could decohere if each particle traversed through a different gravitational field gradient. We propose to study this effect in a ground to space uplink scenario. We extend the above theoretical predictions of Ralph and coworkers and discuss the scientific consequences of detecting/failing to detect the predicted gravitational decoherence. We present a detailed mission design of the European Space Agency's Space QUEST (Space - Quantum Entanglement Space Test) mission, and study the feasibility of the mission scheme.

Authors with CRIS profile

Involved external institutions

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) US United States (USA) (US) Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Optik und Feinmechanik (IOF) / Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering DE Germany (DE) Stockholm University / Stockholms universitet SE Sweden (SE) Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften AT Austria (AT) Huawei’s German Research Center (GRC) DE Germany (DE) University of Bristol GB United Kingdom (GB) Japan National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) / 情報通信研究機構 JP Japan (JP) University of Oslo NO Norway (NO) Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) / Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik DE Germany (DE) Rudjer Boskovic Institute (RBI) / Institut Ruđer Bošković (IRB) HR Croatia (HR) Hellenic Naval Academy (HNA) / Hellenic Naval Cadets Academy / Σχολή Ναυτικών Δοκίμων GR Greece (GR) Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck / University of Innsbruck AT Austria (AT) University of Gdańsk / Uniwersytet Gdański PL Poland (PL) Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) / Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona ES Spain (ES) University of Padua / Universita degli Studi di Padova IT Italy (IT) University of Oxford GB United Kingdom (GB) Max-Planck-Institut für die Physik des Lichts (MPL) / Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light DE Germany (DE) Polytechnic University of Valencia / Universidad Politécnica de Valencia ES Spain (ES) University of Paris 4 - Paris-Sorbonne / Université paris IV Paris-Sorbonne FR France (FR) Russian Quantum Center RU Russian Federation (RU) European Space Agency (ESA) FR France (FR) University of Glasgow GB United Kingdom (GB) University of Waterloo (UW) CA Canada (CA) Universität Wien / University of Vienna AT Austria (AT) University of York GB United Kingdom (GB) Palacky University Olomouc / Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci CZ Czech Republic (CZ) Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETHZ) / Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich CH Switzerland (CH) Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR) / German Aerospace Center DE Germany (DE) University of Seville / Universidad de Sevilla ES Spain (ES) University of Toronto CA Canada (CA) Politecnico di Milano IT Italy (IT) National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) US United States (USA) (US) University of Queensland AU Australia (AU)

How to cite


Joshi, S.K., Pienaar, J., Ralph, T.C., Cacciapuoti, L., Mccutcheon, W., Rarity, J.,... Ursin, R. (2018). Space QUEST mission proposal: Experimentally testing decoherence due to gravity. New Journal of Physics, 20(6).


Joshi, Siddarth Koduru, et al. "Space QUEST mission proposal: Experimentally testing decoherence due to gravity." New Journal of Physics 20.6 (2018).

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