Ewch i’r prif gynnwys

Sander Vermeulen

Myfyriwr ymchwil,

N/2.15, Adeiladau'r Frenhines - Adeilad y Gogledd, 5 The Parade, Heol Casnewydd, Caerdydd, CF24 3AA

Mae'r cynnwys hwn ar gael yn Saesneg yn unig.


I work on fundamental physics research using interferometry experiments. My research is focused on detecting quantum gravity phenomena and dark matter using precision (quantum-enhanced) optical interferometers. I'm part of a team building twin table-top laser interferometers here at Cardiff University. With these interferometers, we aim to detect signatures of holographic quantum gravity. The experiment will also be sensitive to high-frequency gravitational waves, and certain hypothetical dark matter particles. 

How do you observe quantum gravity with interferometers?

Gravity has never been observed to have quantum mechanical properties. Einstein's theory of General Relativity tells us gravity can be explained not as a force, but by considering the movement of matter in a curved space-time. At its core, space-time describes how distances and lengths depend on the presence of matter and energy. We know matter and energy follow the laws of quantum mechanics. Therefore, it is thought that space-time (and therefore measurements of distances) must be quantum-mechanical as well. Laser interferometry is the most precise method for measuring distances, and state-of-the-art interferometers can detect length fluctuations as small as 10-19 meters. By measuring distances at this extraordinary precision, we hope to observe signatures of the quantum nature of space-time. This would provide the first experimental evidence to inform a theory of quantum gravity.