Indexed on: 28 Sep '17Published on: 28 Sep '17Published in: Physical review letters
Spontaneous collapse models predict that a weak force noise acts on any mechanical system, as a consequence of the collapse of the wave function. Significant upper limits on the collapse rate have been recently inferred from precision mechanical experiments, such as ultracold cantilevers and the space mission LISA Pathfinder. Here, we report new results from an experiment based on a high-Q cantilever cooled to millikelvin temperatures, which is potentially able to improve the current bounds on the continuous spontaneous localization (CSL) model by 1 order of magnitude. High accuracy measurements of the cantilever thermal fluctuations reveal a nonthermal force noise of unknown origin. This excess noise is compatible with the CSL heating predicted by Adler. Several physical mechanisms able to explain the observed noise have been ruled out.