Condensed Matter Physics Seminar

2 p.m., Thursday, October 19, 2006
Room 1201, Physics Building

 Quantum Jumps and the Quasiclassical Motion of a Trapped Ion

Howard Carmichael

(Department of Physics, University of Auckland, New Zealand)

Abstract:  The heating through resonance fluorescence of a harmonically trapped ion excited by a standing-wave laser field is explored by following the quantum-stochastic evolution of the center-of-mass wavepacket from the ground state of the trap into the quasiclassical regime. A stochastic Schroedinger equation incorporating quantum jumps is solved numerically and compared with a semi-quantum treatment where center-of-mass recoil is taken into account through momentum kicks added to otherwise unquantized center-of-mass motion. Certain amplitudes of oscillation in the trap are shown to be metastable, namely those for which the cycle-averaged field driving the atom is zero. Features of the fully quantum mechanical simulation are shown to support a quantum measurement interpretation, where the stochastic evolution works to stabilize a quantum state consistent with the information gathered from the environment, i.e., the observable fluorescence.
Host:  Orozco
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