Conflict between the classical equivalence principle and quantum mechanics
Advanced Studies in Theoretical Physics, v. 3, n. 2, p. 65-78, 2009.
As far as external gravitational fields described by Newton's theory are concerned, theory shows that there is an unavoidable conflict between the universality of free fall (Galileo's equivalence principle) and quantum mechanics - a result confirmed by experiment. Is this conflict due perhaps to the use of Newton's gravity, instead of general relativity, in the analysis of the external gravitational field? The response is negative. To show this we compute the low corrections to the cross-section for the scattering of different quantum particles by an external gravitational field, treated as an external field, in the framework of Einstein's linearized gravity. To first order the cross-sections are spin-dependent; if the calculations are pushed to the next order they become dependent upon energy as well. Therefore, the Galileo's equivalence and, consequently, the classical equivalence principle, is violated in both cases. We address these issues here.