Europhys. Lett.
Volume 69, Number 6, March 2005
Page(s) 874 - 878
Section General
Published online 18 February 2005
Europhys. Lett., 69 (6), pp. 874-878 (2005)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2004-10441-9

Is a multiple excitation of a single atom equivalent to a single excitation of an ensemble of atoms?

I. Kanter, A. Frydman and A. Ater

Minerva Center and the Department of Physics, Bar-Ilan University Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel

received 13 October 2004; accepted in final form 19 January 2005
published online 18 February 2005

Recent technological advances have enabled to isolate, control and measure the properties of a single atom, leading to the possibility to perform statistics on the behavior of single quantum systems. These experiments have enabled to check a question which was out of reach previously: Is the statistics of a multiple excitation of an atom N times equivalent to a single excitation of an ensemble of N atoms? We present a new method to analyze quantum measurements which leads to the conclusion that the answer is most probably no. We discuss the merits of the analysis and its conclusion.

05.30.-d - Quantum statistical mechanics.
32.80.Pj - Optical cooling of atoms; trapping.
03.67.-a - Quantum information.

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