Quantum Zeno Suppression of Intramolecular Forces

Quantum Zeno Suppression of Intramolecular Forces We show that Born-Oppenheimer surfaces can intrinsically decohere, implying loss of coherence among constituent electronic basis states. We consider the example of interatomic forces due to resonant dipole-dipole interactions within a dimer of highly excited Rydberg atoms, embedded in an ultracold gas. These forces rely on a coherent superposition of two-atom electronic states, which is destroyed by continuous monitoring of the dimer state through a detection scheme utilizing the background gas atoms. We show that this intrinsic decoherence of the molecular energy surface can gradually deteriorate a repulsive dimer state, causing a mixing of attractive and repulsive character. For sufficiently strong decoherence, a Zeno-like effect causes a complete cessation of interatomic forces. We finally show how short decohering pulses can controllably redistribute population between the different molecular energy surfaces. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Physical Review Letters American Physical Society (APS)

Quantum Zeno Suppression of Intramolecular Forces

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Quantum Zeno Suppression of Intramolecular Forces

Abstract

We show that Born-Oppenheimer surfaces can intrinsically decohere, implying loss of coherence among constituent electronic basis states. We consider the example of interatomic forces due to resonant dipole-dipole interactions within a dimer of highly excited Rydberg atoms, embedded in an ultracold gas. These forces rely on a coherent superposition of two-atom electronic states, which is destroyed by continuous monitoring of the dimer state through a detection scheme utilizing the background gas atoms. We show that this intrinsic decoherence of the molecular energy surface can gradually deteriorate a repulsive dimer state, causing a mixing of attractive and repulsive character. For sufficiently strong decoherence, a Zeno-like effect causes a complete cessation of interatomic forces. We finally show how short decohering pulses can controllably redistribute population between the different molecular energy surfaces.
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Publisher
The American Physical Society
Copyright
Copyright © © 2017 American Physical Society
ISSN
0031-9007
eISSN
1079-7114
D.O.I.
10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.013001
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We show that Born-Oppenheimer surfaces can intrinsically decohere, implying loss of coherence among constituent electronic basis states. We consider the example of interatomic forces due to resonant dipole-dipole interactions within a dimer of highly excited Rydberg atoms, embedded in an ultracold gas. These forces rely on a coherent superposition of two-atom electronic states, which is destroyed by continuous monitoring of the dimer state through a detection scheme utilizing the background gas atoms. We show that this intrinsic decoherence of the molecular energy surface can gradually deteriorate a repulsive dimer state, causing a mixing of attractive and repulsive character. For sufficiently strong decoherence, a Zeno-like effect causes a complete cessation of interatomic forces. We finally show how short decohering pulses can controllably redistribute population between the different molecular energy surfaces.

Journal

Physical Review LettersAmerican Physical Society (APS)

Published: Jul 7, 2017

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