Observation of Quantum Jumps in a Single Atom

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1986
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American Physical Society
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We detect the radiatively driven electric quadrupole transition to the metastable D522 state in a single, laser-cooled Hg II ion by monitoring the abrupt cessation of the fluorescence signal from the laser-excited S122→P122 first resonance line. When the ion "jumps" back from the metastable D state to the ground S state, the S→P resonance fluorescence signal immediately returns. The statistical properties of the quantum jumps are investigated; for example, photon antibunching in the emission from the D state is observed with 100% efficiency.

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Bergquist, J.C., Hulet, Randall G., Itano, Wayne M., et al.. "Observation of Quantum Jumps in a Single Atom." Physical Review Letters, 57, no. 14 (1986) American Physical Society: 1699-1702. http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.57.1699.

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