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Can We Test Gravitational Waves For Wave-Particle Duality?

22 Aug 2019, 14:01 UTC
Can We Test Gravitational Waves For Wave-Particle Duality?

R. Hurt/Caltech-JPL

Back in February of 2016, LIGO made an announcement that changed our picture of the Universe forever: from more than a billion light-years away, two massive black holes, of 36 and 29 solar masses, had inspiraled and merged. The result of that merger was a single black hole of 62 solar masses, with the remaining 3 solar masses converted into pure energy via Einstein’s E = mc², rippling throughout the Universe in the form of gravitational waves.

Since that time, LIGO has risen into the double digits with the number of detections it’s made, as gravitational waves are now undoubtedly real and teaching us an incredible amount about our Universe. But all of this is still information about our Universe according to our classical theory of gravity: General Relativity. If quantum physics is right, then wave-particle duality is real, even for gravitational waves. Here’s what that means.

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