Macroscopic quantum resonators (MAQRO): 2015 update

Rainer Kaltenbaek, Markus Aspelmeyer, Peter F. Barker, Angelo Bassi, James Bateman, Kai Bongs, Sougato Bose, Claus Braxmaier, Časlav Brukner, Bruno Christophe, Michael Chwalla, Pierre François Cohadon, Adrian Michael Cruise, Catalina Curceanu, Kishan Dholakia, Lajos Diósi, Klaus Döringshoff, Wolfgang Ertmer, Jan Gieseler, Norman GürlebeckGerald Hechenblaikner, Antoine Heidmann, Sven Herrmann, Sabine Hossenfelder, Ulrich Johann, Nikolai Kiesel, Myungshik Kim, Claus Lämmerzahl, Astrid Lambrecht, Michael Mazilu, Gerard J. Milburn, Holger Müller, Lukas Novotny, Mauro Paternostro, Achim Peters, Igor Pikovski, André Pilan Zanoni, Ernst M. Rasel, Serge Reynaud, Charles Jess Riedel, Manuel Rodrigues, Loïc Rondin, Albert Roura, Wolfgang P. Schleich, Jörg Schmiedmayer, Thilo Schuldt, Keith C. Schwab, Martin Tajmar, Guglielmo M. Tino, Hendrik Ulbricht, Rupert Ursin, Vlatko Vedral

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


Do the laws of quantum physics still hold for macroscopic objects - this is at the heart of Schrödinger’s cat paradox - or do gravitation or yet unknown effects set a limit for massive particles? What is the fundamental relation between quantum physics and gravity? Ground-based experiments addressing these questions may soon face limitations due to limited free-fall times and the quality of vacuum and microgravity. The proposed mission Macroscopic Quantum Resonators (MAQRO) may overcome these limitations and allow addressing such fundamental questions. MAQRO harnesses recent developments in quantum optomechanics, high-mass matter-wave interferometry as well as state-of-the-art space technology to push macroscopic quantum experiments towards their ultimate performance limits and to open new horizons for applying quantum technology in space. The main scientific goal is to probe the vastly unexplored ‘quantum-classical’ transition for increasingly massive objects, testing the predictions of quantum theory for objects in a size and mass regime unachievable in ground-based experiments. The hardware will largely be based on available space technology. Here, we present the MAQRO proposal submitted in response to the 4th Cosmic Vision call for a medium-sized mission (M4) in 2014 of the European Space Agency (ESA) with a possible launch in 2025, and we review the progress with respect to the original MAQRO proposal for the 3rd Cosmic Vision call for a medium-sized mission (M3) in 2010. In particular, the updated proposal overcomes several critical issues of the original proposal by relying on established experimental techniques from high-mass matter-wave interferometry and by introducing novel ideas for particle loading and manipulation. Moreover, the mission design was improved to better fulfill the stringent environmental requirements for macroscopic quantum experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
JournalEPJ Quantum Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Kaltenbaek et al.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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