Test of Causal Nonlinear Quantum Mechanics by Ramsey Interferometry with a Trapped Ion

Quantum mechanics requires the time evolution of the wave function to be linear. While this feature has been associated with the preservation of causality, a consistent causal nonlinear theory was recently developed. Interestingly, this theory is unavoidably sensitive to the full physical spread of the wave function, rendering existing experimental tests for nonlinearities inapplicable. Here, using well-controlled motional superpositions of a trapped ion, we set a stringent limit of 5.4×1012 on the magnitude of the unitless scaling factor ε˜γ for the predicted causal nonlinear perturbation.

  • Received 27 June 2022
  • Accepted 6 April 2023

DOI:https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.130.200201

© 2023 American Physical Society

Atomic, Molecular & OpticalGeneral Physics

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