The non-dissipative damping of the Rabi oscillations as a "which-path" informationM. Tumminello, A. Vaglica and G. Vetri
Istituto Nazionale di Fisica della Materia and Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche ed Astronomiche dell'Università di Palermo - via Archirafi 36, 90123 Palermo, Italy
(Received 8 October 2003; accepted 5 January 2004)
Rabi oscillations may be viewed as an interference phenomenon due to a coherent superposition of different quantum paths, as in Young's two-slit experiment. The inclusion of the atomic external variables causes a non-dissipative damping of the Rabi oscillations. More generally, the atomic translational dynamics induces damping in the correlation functions which describe non-classical behaviors of the field and internal atomic variables, leading to the separability of these two subsystems. We discuss on the possibility of interpreting this intrinsic decoherence as a "which-way" information effect and we apply to this case a quantitative analysis of the complementarity relation as introduced by Englert (Phys. Rev. Lett. 77 (1996) 2154).
42.50.-p - Quantum optics.
32.80.Lg - Mechanical effects of light on atoms, molecules, and ions.
03.65.Ud - Entanglement and quantum nonlocality (e.g. EPR paradox, Bell's inequalities, GHZ states, etc.).
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