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Proceedings Paper

Quantum harmonic oscillator state synthesis and analysis
Author(s): Wayne M. Itano; Christopher R. Monroe; D. M. Meekhof; D. Leibfried; B. E. King; David J. Wineland
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Paper Abstract

We laser-cool single beryllium ions in a Paul trap to the ground (n equals 0) quantum harmonic oscillator state with greater than 90% probability. From this starting point, we can put the atom into various quantum states of motion by application of optical and rf electric fields. Some of these states resemble classical states (the coherent states), while others are intrinsically quantum, such as number states or squeezed states. We have created entangled position and spin superposition states (Schrodinger cat states), where the atom's spatial wavefunction is split into two widely separated wave packets. We have developed methods to reconstruct the density matrices and Wigner functions of arbitrary motional quantum states. These methods should make it possible to study decoherence of quantum superposition states and the transition from quantum to classical behavior. Calculations of the decoherence of superpositions of coherent states are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 1997
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 2995, Atom Optics, (1 May 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.273771
Show Author Affiliations
Wayne M. Itano, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
Christopher R. Monroe, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
D. M. Meekhof, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
D. Leibfried, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
B. E. King, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
David J. Wineland, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2995:
Atom Optics
Mara Goff Prentiss; William D. Phillips, Editor(s)

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