Exploring the Quantum: Atoms, Cavities, and Photons

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OUP Oxford, Aug 10, 2006 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 605 pages
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The counter-intuitive aspects of quantum physics have been for long illustrated by thought experiments, from Einstein's photon box to Schrödinger's cat. These experiments have now become real, with single particles - electrons, atoms or photons - directly unveiling the weird features of the quantum. State superpositions, entanglement and complementarity define a novel quantum logic which can be harnessed for information processing, raising great hopes for applications. This book describes a class of such thought experiments made real. Juggling with atoms and photons confined in cavities, ions or cold atoms in traps, is here an incentive to shed a new light on the basic concepts of quantum physics. Measurement processes and decoherence at the quantum-classical boundary are highlighted. This volume, which combines theory and experiments, will be of interest to students in quantum physics, teachers seeking illustrations for their lectures and new problem sets, researchers in quantum optics and quantum information.
 

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Contents

1 Unveiling the quantum
1
2 Strangeness and power of the quantum
25
3 Of spins and springs
101
4 The environment is watching
163
5 Photons in a box
231
6 Seeing light in subtle ways
297
7 Taming Schrödingers cat
355
8 Atoms in a box
443
9 Entangling matter waves
517
10 Conclusion
565
Appendix
569
Bibliography
587
Index
603
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About the author (2006)


Serge Haroche
Professor, College de France
Laboratoire Kastler-Brossel,
department de physique de l'Ecole normale superieure,
24 rue Lhomond, 75005 Paris
Professor at College de France (Chaire de Physique Quantique) since 2001
Member of the French Academy of Sciences since 1993
Professor at Universite Pierre et Marie Curie (1975-2000) and at Ecole Normale Superieure (1984-2000).
Maitre de Conference at Ecole Polytechnique (1975-1984)
Professor (part time) at Yale University (1984-1993)
Senior Member of Institut Universitaire de France (1991-2000)
Fellow of the Americal Physical Society (1990)
Prix Ricard of French Physical Society (1983)
Michelson Medal of Franklin Insitute (1993)
Quantum Electronics Prize of the European Physical Society (2002)
Jean-Michel Raimond
Professor, Universite Pierre et Marie Curie et Institut Universitaire de France
Laboratoire Kastler-Brossel,
department de physique de l'Ecole normale superieure,
24 rue Lhomond, 75005 Paris
Professor at Universite Pierre et Marie Curie since 1988
Junior member of Institut Universitaire de France, 1994-1999
Senior member of Institut Universitaire de France, Quantum Optics chair, 2001-
Ampere Prize of the French Academy of Sciences with M. Brune, 1998
Charge de recherches CNRS 1983-1988
Attache de recherches CNRS 1979-1983