Classical atoms and quantum mechanical wave packets
John A. Yeazell and C. R. Stroud, Jr.
Acta. Phys. Polon. A78, 253 (1990).
Recent progress in the effort to produce atomic electronic states in which
a localized wave packet travels along a classical Kepler orbit is reviewed.
It is shown that a short laser pulse can excite a coherent superposition of
atomic energy states that closely approaches the ideal of a "correspondence
principle" state. Recent experimental results are described in which a
radially localized electronic state is produced and its evolution followed
through several orbital periods before it eventually spreads due to the
discreteness of the atomic energy levels. Similarities with the decays and
revivals of the Jaynes-Cummings model are discussed.
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