Resonance fluorescence and quantum jumps in single atoms: Testing the randomness of quantum mechanics

T. Erber, P. Hammerling, G. Hockney, M. Porrati, S. Putterman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    When a single trapped 198Hg+ ion is illuminated by two lasers, each tuned to an appropriate transition, the resulting resonance fluorescence switches on and off in a series of pulses resembling a bistable telegraph. This intermittent fluorescence can also be obtained by optical pumping with a single laser. Quantum jumps between successive atomic levels may be traced directly with multiple-resonance fluorescence. Atomic transition rates and photon antibunching distributions can be inferred from the pulse statistics and compared with quantum theory. Stochastic tests also indicate that the quantum telegraphs are good random number generators. During periods when the fluorescence is switched off, the radiationless atomic currents that generate the telegraph signals can be adjusted by varying the laser illumination: if this coherent evolution of the wave functions is sustained over sufficiently long time intervals, novel interactive precision measurements, near the limits of the time-energy uncertainty relations, are possible.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)254-309
    Number of pages56
    JournalAnnals of Physics
    Volume190
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 1989

    Fingerprint

    resonance fluorescence
    quantum mechanics
    lasers
    atoms
    random numbers
    fluorescence
    optical pumping
    pulses
    quantum theory
    generators
    switches
    illumination
    statistics
    wave functions
    intervals
    photons
    ions
    energy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physics and Astronomy(all)

    Cite this

    Resonance fluorescence and quantum jumps in single atoms : Testing the randomness of quantum mechanics. / Erber, T.; Hammerling, P.; Hockney, G.; Porrati, M.; Putterman, S.

    In: Annals of Physics, Vol. 190, No. 2, 1989, p. 254-309.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Erber, T. ; Hammerling, P. ; Hockney, G. ; Porrati, M. ; Putterman, S. / Resonance fluorescence and quantum jumps in single atoms : Testing the randomness of quantum mechanics. In: Annals of Physics. 1989 ; Vol. 190, No. 2. pp. 254-309.
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