Quantum Zeno effect in atomic Bragg scattering

S. Dyrting, M. J. Gagen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We propose an experiment to observe the quantum Zeno effect in atomic Bragg scattering. The quantum Zeno effect is the inhibition of the free evolution of a system when that system is subject to a decohering measurement process. This effect is usually studied theoretically in an idealized two-level system, though this system has been difficult to realize in practice. The coherent population exchange between the forward and Bragg beams provides an ideal two-level system, though as there is no practical scheme for continuously monitoring the motion of an atom we include decoherence by adding noise to the laser. Using the method of stochastic Hamiltonians we show that the noise suppresses tunneling in the two-state system and, in the large noise limit, the system can freeze in its initial state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1453-1457
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes


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