Philip Pearle, professor of physics emeritus, co-authored a paper published in the November issue of the journal Physical Review A (PRA). “Heating of trapped ultra cold atoms by collapse dynamics” was written with Franck Laloë of the École Normale Supérieure and William Mullin of the University of Massachusetts.
Pearle has developed a modification of quantum theory which describes things happening, whereas standard quantum theory just describes the probabilities of things happening. Pearle’s theory makes some predictions which are different from the standard theory. One of them is an anomalous heating of atoms.
The paper analyzes experiments performed by Hanns-Christoph Nägerl and Manfred Mark of the University of Innsbruck, including those which deal with the coldest atoms ever observed, to obtain a limit on the heating predicted by the theory, and thus obtain an experimental upper limit on a fundamental parameter in the theory.
According to its website, PRA is a monthly publication of the American Physical Society that “provides a dependable resource of worldwide developments in the rapidly evolving area of atomic, molecular, and optical physics and related fundamental concepts.”