Observation of the quantum zeno and anti-zeno effects in an unstable system


Journal Article

We report the first observation of the quantum Zeno and anti-Zeno effects in an unstable system. Cold sodium atoms are trapped in a far-detuned standing wave of light that is accelerated for a controlled duration. For a large acceleration the atoms can escape the trapping potential via tunneling. Initially the number of trapped atoms shows strong nonexponential decay features, evolving into the characteristic exponential decay behavior. We repeatedly measure the number of atoms remaining trapped during the initial period of nonexponential decay. Depending on the frequency of measurements we observe a decay that is suppressed or enhanced as compared to the unperturbed system. © 2001 American Physical Society.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Fischer, MC; Gutiérrez-Medina, B; Raizen, MG

Published Date

  • July 23, 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 87 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 40402-1-40402-4 -

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1079-7114

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0031-9007

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1103/PhysRevLett.87.040402

Citation Source

  • Scopus