Do Atoms Age?

“Time evolution generically entangles a quantum state with environmental degrees of freedom. The resulting increase in entropy changes the properties of that quantum system leading to “aging”. It is interesting to ask if this familiar property also applies to simple, single particle quantum systems such as the decay of a radioactive particle. We propose a test of such aging in an ion clock setup where we probe for temporal changes to the energies of the electronic state of an ion containing a radioactive nucleus. Such effects are absent in standard quantum mechanics and this test is thus a potent null test for violations of quantum mechanics. As a proof of principle, we show that these effects exist in causal non-linear modifications of quantum mechanics.” See full paper on the arXiv.