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Institute of Optics

bar_yell

Observation of the collapse and revival of a Rydberg electronic wave packet

John A. Yeazell, Mark Mallalieu, and C. R. Stroud, Jr.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 64, 2007 (1990).


We report an observation of the long-term evolution of a radially localized electronic wave packet formed by the coherent superposition of Rydberg states of atomic potassium. Initially, the wave packet can be described classically. Subsequent dephasing of the discrete states in the superposition leads to a loss of spatial localization so that the evolution can no longer be described classically. However, the wave packet revives at a later time. Theory and experiment show good agreement including an accurate measurement of the phase shift of the wave packet on revival.


Click here to download the .pdf version of the paper yeazell901.pdf (369 kB)


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