Issue
EPL
Volume 77, Number 6, March 2007
Article Number 60003
Number of page(s) 5
Section General
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1209/0295-5075/77/60003
Published online 28 February 2007
EPL, 77 (2007) 60003
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/77/60003

How to measure the wave function absolute squared of a moving particle by using mirrors

V. Hannstein and G. C. Hegerfeldt

Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Göttingen - Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany


received 20 October 2006; accepted in final form 31 January 2007; published March 2007
published online 28 February 2007

Abstract
We consider a slow particle with wave function $\psi _{t}(\textbf{\em x})$, moving freely in some direction. A mirror is briefly switched on around a time T and its position is scanned. It is shown that the measured reflection probability then allows the determination of $\vert\psi _{T}(\textbf{\em x})\vert^{2}$. Experimentally available atomic mirrors should make this method applicable to the center-of-mass wave function of atoms with velocities in the cm/s range.

PACS
03.65.Wj - State reconstruction, quantum tomography.
03.75.Be - Atom and neutron optics.
32.80.Lg - Mechanical effects of light on atoms, molecules, and ions.

© Europhysics Letters Association 2007