Interaction-free measurements by quantum Zeno stabilization of ultracold atoms

Year: 2015

Authors: Lucke B., Pezze L., Deuretzbacher F., Ertmer W., Arlt J., Smerzi A., Santos L., Klempt C.

Autors Affiliation: Leibniz Univ Hannover, Inst Quantenopt, D-30167 Hannover, Germany; QSTAR, I-50125 Florence, Italy;‎ CNR, INO, I-50125 Florence, Italy;‎ LENS, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy;‎ Leibniz Univ Hannover, Inst Theoret Phys, D-30167 Hannover, Germany;‎ Aarhus Univ, QUANTOP, Inst Fys Astron, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

Abstract: Quantum mechanics predicts that our physical reality is influenced by events that can potentially happen but factually do not occur. Interaction-free measurements (IFMs) exploit this counterintuitive influence to detect the presence of an object without requiring any interaction with it. Here we propose and realize an IFM concept based on an unstable many-particle system. In our experiments, we employ an ultracold gas in an unstable spin configuration, which can undergo a rapid decay. The object-realized by a laser beam-prevents this decay because of the indirect quantum Zeno effect and thus, its presence can be detected without interacting with a single atom. Contrary to existing proposals, our IFM does not require single-particle sources and is only weakly affected by losses and decoherence. We demonstrate confidence levels of 90%, well beyond previous optical experiments.


Volume: 6      Pages from: 6811-1  to: 6811-6

KeyWords: DECAY
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7811

Citations: 30
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