Experiment Home Page: http://www.roma1.infn.it/~webmqc/main.html
The MQC experiment [the acronym stands for Macroscopic Quantum Coherence) aims to study the behavior of a ``macroscopic`` system to verify if the predictions given by the standard Quantum Mechanics Theory are still valid or if the Macrorealistic view should be used to describe its time evolution.
The experiment proposed by the Rome Group (G. Diambrini Palazzi and Carlo Cosmelli) has the goal of investigating the behavior of a two-state macroscopic system realized by means of a rf SQUID.
This kind of experiment has been done on a microscopic system in 1972, when A. Aspect found a violation of the Bell inequalities on a couple of polarized photons, showing the non-locality of the microscopic system.
The natural extension to larger systems (the Schrodinger`s cat problem) was raised in 1980 by A.J. Leggett, but remained a "gedanken" experiment for more than 10 years. With this system, cooled at 10 mK, we should measure Rabi oscillations between two equivalent states composed by a number of the order of 1010 pairs of electrons. The appearance of Rabi oscillations, and subsequent measurements on the system time evolution, should falsify for the first time the realistic description of a macroscopic system. It should be noted that the realization of a two level system showing Rabi oscillations is also the first step towards the implementation of a Quantum Computer, being the SQUID a qu-bit that could be easily manipulated and controlled.