Excitation of an atomic electron to a coherent superposition of macroscopically distinct states
Michael W. Noel and C. R. Stroud, Jr.
Phys. Rev. Lett 77 1913 (1996).
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noel961.pdf (103 KB)
An atomic electron is prepared in a state closely analogous to
Schrödinger's coherent superposition of "live cat" and "dead cat." The
electronic state is a coherent superposition of two spatially localized
wave packets separated by approximately 0.4 µm at the opposite extremes of
a Kepler orbit. State-selective ionization is used to verify that only
every other atomic level is populated in the "cat state," and a Ramsey
fringe measurement is used to verify the coherence of the superposition.
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