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.

Full Text

Cited Authors

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

Published Date

  • July 10, 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 87 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 040402 -

PubMed ID

  • 11461604

Pubmed Central ID

  • 11461604

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1079-7114

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0031-9007

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1103/physrevlett.87.040402


  • eng