Experiments on quantum transport of ultra-cold atoms in optical potentials


Book Section

In this chapter, we describe our experiments with ultra cold atoms in optical potentials and show how we can address fundamental issues of time in quantum mechanics. The high degree of experimental control and the conceptual simplicity are the main advantages of our system. We start with an overview of the basic interaction of atoms and light and make the connection between atoms in optical lattices and solid state physics. While this latter connection has evolved into a major theme in physics over the past decade, at the time of this work it was still new and unexplored. After introduction of the theoretical model and the basic equations, we introduce the experimental apparatus. We then review our experiments to observe the Wannier-Stark ladder in an accelerating lattice. This system was used to study quantum tunneling where short-time non-exponential decay was first observed for an unstable quantum system. We then describe our experiments to observe the quantum Zeno and anti-Zeno effects for an unstable system that is repeatedly interrogated. We conclude this chapter with a brief outlook into the future. © 2010 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Fischer, MC; Raizen, MG

Published Date

  • December 1, 2009

Volume / Issue

  • 789 /

Start / End Page

  • 205 - 237

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9783642031731

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/978-3-642-03174-8_8

Citation Source

  • Scopus