Heisenberg's uncertainty principle in the PTOLEMY project: A theory update

(PTOLEMY Collaboration)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We discuss the consequences of the quantum uncertainty on the spectrum of the electron emitted by the β-processes of a tritium atom bound to a graphene sheet. We analyze quantitatively the issue recently raised by Cheipesh, Cheianov, and Boyarsky [Phys. Rev. D 104, 116004 (2021)PRVDAQ2470-001010.1103/PhysRevD.104.116004], and discuss the relevant timescales and the degrees of freedom that can contribute to the intrinsic spread in the electron energy. We perform careful calculations of the potential between tritium and graphene with different coverages and geometries. With this at hand, we propose possible avenues to mitigate the effect of the quantum uncertainty.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number053002
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to N. Arkani-Hamed, J. Maldacena, A. Pilloni and R. Rattazzi for important discussions. A. E. is a Roger Dashen Member at the Institute for Advanced Study, whose work is also supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of High Energy Physics under Award No. DE-SC0009988. G. M. acknowledges the IT center of the University of Pisa, the High Performance Computing center (Franklin) of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia of Genova, and the allocation of computer resources from CINECA, through the ISCRA C Projects No. HP10C9JF51, No. HP10CI1LTC, No. HP10CY46PW, and No. HP10CMQ8ZK. G. M. also acknowledges support from the University of Pisa under the “PRA—Progetti di Ricerca di Ateneo” (Institutional Research Grants)—Project No. PRA 2020-2021 92. The research leading to these results has also received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Grant Agreement No. 881603-Graphene Core3. T. F. acknowledges Fundaçao de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Sao Paulo (FAPESP) Grants No. 2017/05660-0 and No. 2019/07767-1, and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) Grants No. 308486/2015-3 and No. 464898/2014-5 (INCT-FNA). Support and computational resources are also provided by EU under FETPROACT LESGO (Agreement No. 952068) and by the Italian University and Research Ministry, Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca under MONSTRE-2D PRIN2017 KFMJ8E. We received support from the Amaldi Research Center funded by the Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca program “Dipartimento di Eccellenza” (CUP:B81I18001170001). This work is further supported by the Italian Grant No. 2017W4HA7S “NAT-NET: Neutrino and Astroparticle Theory Network” (PRIN 2017) funded by the Italian Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca (MIUR).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 authors. Published by the American Physical Society. Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the "https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/"Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article's title, journal citation, and DOI. Funded by SCOAP3.


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