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379

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## Publications

Publications (379)

We provide a novel methodological approach to the estimate of the change of the Quantum Vacuum electromagnetic energy density in a High critical Temperature superconducting metal bulk sample, when it undergoes the transition in temperature, from the superconducting to the normal phase. The various contributions to the Casimir energy in the two phas...

We discuss the physical interpretation of the gravity mediated entanglement effect. We show how to read it in terms of quantum reference systems. We pinpoint the single gravitational degree of freedom mediating the entanglement. We clarify why the distinction between longitudinal and transverse degrees of freedom is irrelevant for the interpretatio...

Detecting gravity mediated entanglement can provide evidence that the gravitational field obeys quantum mechanics. We report the result of a simulation of the phenomenon using a photonic platform. The simulation tests the idea of probing the quantum nature of a variable by using it to mediate entanglement, and yields theoretical and experimental in...

In this paper we study the Casimir energy of a sample made by N cavities, with $$N\gg 1$$ N ≫ 1 , across the transition from the metallic to the superconducting phase of the constituting plates. After having characterised the energy for the configuration in which the layers constituting the cavities are made by dielectric and for the configuration...

In recent works, Caslav Brukner and Jacques Pienaar have raised interesting objections to the relational interpretation of quantum mechanics. We answer these objections in detail and show that, far from questioning the viability of the interpretation, they sharpen and clarify it.

In this paper we study the Casimir energy of a sample made by N cavities, with N >> 1, across the transition from the metallic to the superconducting phase of the constituting plates. After having characterized the energy for the configuration in which the layers constituting the cavities are made by dielectric and for the configuration in which th...

Observing entanglement generation mediated by a local field certifies that the field cannot be classical. This information-theoretic argument is at the heart of the race to observe gravity-mediated entanglement in a `table-top' experiment. Previous derivations of the effect assume the locality of interactions, while using an instantaneous interacti...

In recent works, \v{C}aslav Brukner and Jacques Pienaar have raised interesting objections to the relational interpretation of quantum mechanics. We answer these objections in detail and show that, far from questioning the viability of the interpretation, they sharpen and clarify it.

We report the tilt sensitivity reached by the ARCHIMEDES tiltmeter in the 2–20 Hz frequency region, where seismic noise is expected to give an important limitation to the sensitivity in the next future Gravitational Waves detection, particularly through Newtonian noise. The tilt noise level $$\tilde{\theta }(f)$$ θ ~ ( f ) is about $$10^{-12} \math...

We derive an explicit expression for the transition amplitude from black to white hole horizon at the end of Hawking evaporation using covariant loop quantum gravity.

The operational formulations of quantum theory are drastically time oriented. However, to the best of our knowledge, microscopic physics is time-symmetric. We address this tension by showing that the asymmetry of the operational formulations does not reflect a fundamental time-orientation of physics. Instead, it stems from built-in assumptions abou...

We derive an explicit expression for the transition amplitude from black to white hole horizon at the end of Hawking evaporation using covariant loop quantum gravity.

At the end of the Hawking evaporation the horizon of a black hole enters a physical region where quantum gravity cannot be neglected. The physics of this region has not been much explored. We characterize its physics and introduce a technique to study it.

Tabletop tests of quantum gravity (QG) have long been thought to be practically impossible. However, remarkably, because of rapid progress in quantum information science (QIS), such tests may soon be achievable. Here we uncover an exciting new theoretical link between QG and QIS that also leads to a radical new way of testing QG with QIS experiment...

Facts happen at every interaction, but they are not absolute: they are relative to the systems involved in the interaction. Stable facts are those whose relativity can effectively be ignored. In this work, we describe how stable facts emerge in a world of relative facts and discuss their respective roles in connecting quantum theory and the world....

Physical systems may couple to other systems through variables that are not gauge invariant. When we split a gauge system into two subsystems, the gauge-invariant variables of the two subsystems have less information than the gauge-invariant variables of the original system; the missing information regards degrees of freedom that express relations...

It is often stated that quantum theory yields probabilities for outcomes of $future$ measurements. This language reinforces a common misconception: that quantum dynamics is time oriented. In fact, the past of quanta is as undetermined as their future given the present. Here we address the apparent tension between the time-reversal invariance of ele...

At the end of Hawking evaporation, the horizon of a black hole enters a physical region where quantum gravity cannot be neglected. The physics of this region has not been much explored. We characterise its physics and introduce a technique to study it.

The Bose-Marletto-Vedral (BMV) experiment tests a quantum gravitational effect predicted by low energy perturbative quantum gravity. It has received attention because it may soon be within observational reach in the lab. We point out that: (i) in relativistic language, the experiment tests an interference effect between proper-time intervals; (ii)...

We define and characterise two kinds of facts that play a role in quantum theory: stable and relative. We describe how stable facts emerge in a world of relative facts and then discuss the respective roles they play in connecting the theory and the world. The distinction between relative and stable facts resolves the difficulties pointed out by the...

Until recently, table-top tests of quantum gravity (QG) were thought to be practically impossible. However, due to a radical new approach to testing QG that uses principles of quantum information theory (QIT) and quantum technology, such tests now seem, remarkably, within sight. In particular, a promising test has been proposed where the generation...

I study the physical nature of traces (or memories). Surprisingly, (i) systems separation with (ii) temperature differences and (iii) long thermalization times, are sufficient conditions to produce macroscopic traces. Traces of the past are ubiquitous because these conditions are largely satisfied in our universe. I quantify these thermodynamical c...

We present the status of the art of the Archimedes experiment, devoted to measuring the debated interaction of quantum vacuum fluctuations and gravity. The method is essentially the weighing of the transition energy of a layered superconductor where the contribution of vacuum energy to the transition energy is expected to be relevant. The transitio...

Is reality three-dimensional and becoming real (Presentism), or is reality four-dimensional and becoming illusory (Eternalism)? Both options raise difficulties. I argue that we do not need to be trapped by this dilemma. There is a third possibility: reality has a more complex temporal structure than either of these two naive options. Fundamental be...

Building on a technical result by Brunnemann and Rideout on the spectrum of the volume operator in loop quantum gravity, we show that the dimension of the space of the quadrivalent diffeomorphism invariant states with no zero-volume nodes describing a region with total volume smaller than V has finite dimension, bounded by V log V. This implies tha...

We analyse the recent proposal of measuring a quantum gravity phenomenon in the lab by entangling two mesoscopic particles gravitationally. We give a generally covariant description of this phenomenon, where the relevant effect turns out to be a quantum superposition of proper times. We point out that if General Relativity is assumed to hold for ma...

The term ‘locality’ is used in different contexts with different meanings. There have been claims that relational quantum mechanics is local, but it is not clear then how it accounts for the effects that go under the usual name of quantum non-locality. The present article shows that the failure of ‘locality’ in the sense of Bell, once interpreted i...

The Bose-Marletto-Vedral experiment tests a non-relativistic quantum effect due to a gravitational interaction. It has received attention because it may soon be within observational reach in the lab. We observe here that: (i) in relativistic language the experiment tests an interference effect between proper-time intervals; (ii) the relevant differ...

Quantum tunneling of a black hole into a white hole provides a model for the full life cycle of a black hole. The white hole acts as a long-lived remnant, solving the black-hole information paradox. The remnant solution of the paradox has long been viewed with suspicion, mostly because remnants seemed to be such exotic objects. We point out that (i...

Dark matter could be composed by black-hole remnants formed before the big-bang era in a bouncing cosmology. This hypothetical scenario has implications on the issue of the arrow of time: it upsets a common attribution of past low entropy to the state of the geometry and suggests a possible realisation of the perspectival interpretation of past low...

We show that the expected lifetime of white holes formed as remnants of evaporated black holes is consistent with their production at reheating. We give a simple quantum description of these objects and argue that a quantum superposition of black and white holes with large interiors is stable, because it is protected by the existence of a minimal e...

We study the natural extension of spacetime across Schwarzschild's central singularity and the behavior of the geodesics crossing it. Locality implies that this extension is independent from the future fate of black holes. We argue that this extension is the natural $\hbar\!\to\!0$ limit of the effective quantum geometry inside a black hole, and sh...

We analyze the recent proposal of measuring a quantum gravity phenomenon in the lab by entangling two particles gravitationally. We give a generally covariant description of this phenomenon, where the relevant effect turns out to be a quantum superposition of proper times. We point out that measurement of this effect would count as evidence for qua...

The possibility that a black hole could tunnel into to white hole has recently received attention. Here we present a metric that improves the "firework" metric: it describes the entire process and solves the Einstein's equations everywhere except on a small transition surface that corresponds to the quantum tunneling. We compute the corresponding r...

The term 'locality' is used in different contexts with different meanings. There have been claims that relational quantum mechanics is local, but it is not clear then how it accounts for the effects that go under the usual name of quantum non-locality. The present article shows that the failure of 'locality' in the sense of Bell, once interpreted i...

Contrary to claims about the irrelevance of philosophy for science, I argue that philosophy has had, and still has, far more influence on physics than is commonly assumed. I maintain that the current anti-philosophical ideology has had damaging effects on the fertility of science. I also suggest that recent important empirical results, such as the...

We show that the expected lifetime of white holes formed as remnants of evaporated black holes is consistent with their production at reheating. We give a simple quantum description of these objects and argue that a quantum superposition of black and white holes with large interiors is stable, because it is protected by the existence of a minimal e...

Dark matter could be composed by black-hole remnants formed before the big-bang era in a bouncing cosmology. This hypothetical scenario has major implications on the issue of the arrow of time: it would upset a common attribution of past low entropy to the state of the geometry, and provide a concrete realisation to the perspectival interpretation...

Contrary to claims about the irrelevance of philosophy for science, I argue that philosophy has had, and still has, far more influence on physics than is commonly assumed. I maintain that the current anti-philosophical ideology has had damaging effects on the fertility of science. I also suggest that recent important empirical results, such as the...

Recent results on the end of black hole evaporation give new weight to the hypothesis that a component of dark matter could be formed by remnants of evaporated black holes: stable Planck-size white holes with a large interior. The expected lifetime of these objects is consistent with their production at reheating. But remnants could also be pre-big...

Quantum gravity is expected to require modifications of the notions of space and time. I discuss and clarify how this happens in Loop Quantum Gravity. (Contribution to the volume "Beyond Spacetime: The Philosophical Foundations of Quantum Gravity" edited by Baptiste Le Biha, Keizo Matsubara and Christian Wuthrich)

Quantum mechanics is not about ‘quantum states’: it is about values of physical variables. I give a short fresh presentation and update on the relational perspective on the theory, and a comment on its philosophical implications.
This article is part of a discussion meeting issue ‘Foundations of quantum mechanics and their impact on contemporary so...

Archimedes is a feasibility study of a future experiment to ascertain the
interaction of vacuum fluctuations with gravity. The experiment should measure
the force that the earth's gravitational field exerts on a Casimir cavity by
using a small force detector. Here we analyse the main parameters of the
experiment and we present its conceptual scheme...

In this paper we study the behavior of the Casimir energy of a "multi-cavity" across the transition from the metallic to the superconducting phase of the constituting plates. Our analysis is carried out in the framework of the ARCHIMEDES experiment, aiming at measuring the interaction of the electromagnetic vacuum energy with a gravitational field....

It is often assumed that the maximum number of independent states a black hole may contain is $N_{BH}=e^{S_{BH}}$, where $S_{BH}=A/4$ is the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy and $A$ the horizon area in Planck units. I present a simple and straightforward argument showing that the number of states that can be distinguished by local observers inside the ho...

The Paper actually concerns a toy model, not physical Casimir cavities made of conducting plates, but the results are taken implicitly to apply in general. We question on general physical grounds one basic assumption and the results of a renormalization procedure. Then, for physical systems, i) considering condensed matter theory/experiments, we fi...

We show that in Oeckl’s boundary formalism the boundary vectors that do not have a tensor form represent, in a precise sense, statistical states. Therefore the formalism incorporates quantum statistical mechanics naturally. We formulate general-covariant quantum statistical mechanics in this language. We illustrate the formalism by showing how it a...

Introduction We observe entropy decrease towards the past. Does this imply that in the past the world was in a non-generic microstate? I point out an alternative. The subsystem to which we belong interacts with the universe via a relatively small number of quantities, which define a coarse graining. Entropy happens to depend on coarse graining. The...

Notions like meaning, signal, intentionality, are difficult to relate to a physical word. I study a purely physical definition of "meaningful information", from which these notions can be derived. It is inspired by a model recently illustrated by Kolchinsky and Wolpert, and improves on Dretske classic work on the relation between knowledge and info...

A gravitationally collapsed object can bounce out from its horizon via a tunnelling process that violates the classical equations in a finite region. Since tunnelling is a nonperturbative phenomenon, it cannot be described in terms of quantum fluctuations around a classical solution, and a background-free formulation of quantum gravity is needed to...

Testable predictions of quantum mechanics are invariant under time reversal.
But the change of the quantum state in time is not so, neither in the collapse
nor in the no-collapse interpretations of the theory. This fact challenges the
realistic interpretation of the quantum state. On the other hand, this fact
follows easily if we interpret the quan...

Various contenders for a complete theory of quantum gravity are at odds with each other. This is in particular seen in the ways they relate to information and black holes, and how to effectively treat quantization of the background spacetime. Modern perspectives on black hole evaporation suggest that quantum gravity effects in the near-horizon regi...

In the book "String Theory and the Scientific Method", Richard Dawid describes a few of the many non-empirical arguments that motivate theoretical physicists' confidence in a theory, taking string theory as case study. I argue that excessive reliance on non-empirical evidence compromises the reliability of science, and that precisely the case of st...

Following our earlier work, we construct statistical discrete geometry by applying statistical mechanics to discrete (Regge) gravity. We propose a coarse-graining method for discrete geometry under the assumptions of atomism and background independence. To maintain these assumptions, restrictions are given to the theory by introducing cut-offs, bot...

Following recent developments in discrete gravity, we study geometrical variables (angles and forms) of simplices in the discrete geometry point of view. Some of our relatively new results include: new ways of writing a set of simplices using vectorial (differential form) and coordinate-free pictures, and a consistent procedure to couple particles...

Archimedes is an INFN-funded pathfinder experiment aimed at verifying the feasibility of measuring the interaction of vacuum fluctuations with gravity. The final experiment will measure the force exerted by the gravitational field on a Casimir cavity whose vacuum energy is modulated with a superconductive transition, by using a balance as a small f...

Recent VLBI observations have resolved Sagittarius A* at horizon scales. The event horizon telescope is expected to provide increasingly good images of the region around the Schwarzschild radius (Formula presented.) of Sgr A* soon. A number of authors have recently pointed out the possibility that nonperturbative quantum gravitational phenomena cou...

A gravitationally collapsed object can bounce-out from its horizon via a tunnelling process that violates the classical equations in a finite region. Since tunnelling is a non-perturbative phenomenon, it cannot be described in terms of quantum fluctuations around a classical solution and a background-free formulation of quantum gravity is needed to...

We study the euclidean covariant loop-quantum-gravity vertex numerically, using a cylindrically symmetric boundary state and a convenient value of the Barbero-Immirzi parameter. We show that a classical geometry emerges already at low spin. We also recognise the appearance of the degenerate configurations.

It is notoriously difficult to apply statistical mechanics to generally
covariant systems, because the notions of time, energy and equilibrium are
seriously modified in this context. We discuss the conditions under which
weaker versions of these notions can be defined, sufficient for statistical
mechanics. We focus on reparametrization invariant sy...

Review of the book “Anaximander, a re-assessment”, by Andrew Gregory (Bloomsbury 2016), submitted to the "Revue des Etudes Anciennes". I take this opportunity also t present some general considerations on the relation between science, history and philosophy.

Archimedes is an INFN-funded pathfinder experiment aimed at verifying the
feasibility of measuring the interaction of vacuum fluctuations with gravity.
The final experiment will measure the force exerted by the gravitational field
on a Casimir cavity whose vacuum energy is modulated with a superconductive
transition, by using a balance as a small f...

We present a metric that describes conventional matter collapsing into a black hole, bouncing and emerging from a white hole, and that satisfies the vacuum Einstein equations everywhere, including in the interior of the black hole and the subsequent white hole, except for a small compact 4d "quantum tunneling" zone. This shows that a black hole can...

We discuss a concrete model of a Casimir cavity, with plane parallel metallic plates kept in mechanical equilibrium by a spring and placed in a weak gravitational field. We show that simple basic physics implies that the plates cannot be idealized as massless and therefore the effect of the vacuum is inextricably connected with the interaction with...

Following earlier insights by Livine and Terno, we develop a technique for
describing quantum states of the gravitational field in terms of coarse grained
spin networks. We show that the number of nodes and links and the values of the
spin depend on the observables chosen for the description of the state. Hence
the question in the title of this pap...

If there is a "platonic world" M of mathematical facts, what does M contain
precisely? I observe that if M is too large, it is uninteresting, because the
value is in the selection, not in the totality; if it is smaller and
interesting, it is not independent from us. Both alternatives challenge
mathematical platonism. I suggest that the universality...

Disavowed by one its fathers, ill defined, never empirically tested, the
Wheeler-DeWitt equation has nevertheless had a powerful influence on
fundamental physics. A well deserved one.

We observe entropy decrease towards the past. Does this imply that in the
past the world was in a non-generic microstate? I point out an alternative. The
subsystem to which we belong interacts with the universe via a relatively small
number of quantities, which define a coarse graining. Entropy happens to
depends on coarse-graining. Therefore the e...

We derive the Gauss-Codazzi equation in the holonomy and plane-angle
representations and we use the result to write a Gauss-Codazzi equation for a
discrete (2+1)-dimensional manifold, triangulated by isosceles tetrahedra. This
allows us to write operators acting on spin network states in (2+1)-dimensional
loop quantum gravity, representing the 3-di...

The field inside a Casimir cavity has an effective negative mass, which acts as a buoyancy force in a gravitational field. Can this render the total mass of the cavity negative, making it " float " in the vacuum? Recent theoretical arguments indicate that this is impossible. We provide support to this conclusion discussing a concrete simple model o...

We study a class of loop-quantum-gravity states characterized by
(ultra-local) thermal correlations that reproduce some features of the
ultraviolet structure of the perturbative quantum field theory vacuum. In
particular, they satisfy an analog of the Bisognano-Wichmann theorem. These
states are peaked on the intrinsic geometry and admit a semiclas...

We study the quantization of geometry in the presence of a cosmological
constant, using a discretiza- tion with constant-curvature simplices. Phase
space turns out to be compact and the Hilbert space finite dimensional for each
link. Not only the intrinsic, but also the extrinsic geometry turns out to be
discrete, pointing to discreetness of time,...

I show that Aristotelian physics is a correct approximation of Newtonian physics in its appropriate domain, in the same precise sense in which Newton theory is an approximation of Einstein's theory. Aristotelian physics lasted long not because it became dogma, but because it is a very good theory.

Quantum gravity is among the most fascinating problems in physics. It modifies our understanding of time, space and matter. The recent development of the loop approach has allowed us to explore domains ranging from black hole thermodynamics to the early Universe. This book provides readers with a simple introduction to loop quantum gravity, centred...

The field inside a Casimir cavity has an effective negative mass, which acts as a buoyancy force in a gravitational field. Can this render the total mass of the cavity negative, making it "float" in the vacuum ? Recent theoretical arguments indicate that this is impossible. We provide support to this conclusion discussing a concrete simple model of...

A recent paper claims that loop quantum gravity predicts the absence of the
Unruh effect. I show that this is not the case, and take advantage of this
opportunity to shed some light on some related issues.

Spacetime metrics describing `non-singular' black holes are commonly studied
in the literature as effective modification to the Schwarzschild solution that
mimic quantum gravity effects removing the central singularity. Here we point
out that to be physically plausible, such metrics should also incorporate the
1-loop quantum corrections to the Newt...