Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Quantum Theory from 5 reasonable Axioms

Lucien Hardy

The usual formulation of quantum theory is based on rather obscure axioms (employing complex Hilbert spaces, Hermitean operators, and the trace rule for calculating probabilities). In this paper it is shown that quantum theory can be derived from five very reasonable axioms. The first four of these are obviously consistent with both quantum theory and classical probability theory. Axiom 5 (which requires that there exists continuous reversible transformations between pure states) rules out classical probability theory. If Axiom 5 (or even just the word "continuous" from Axiom 5) is dropped then we obtain classical probability theory instead. This work provides some insight into the reasons quantum theory is the way it is. For example, it explains the need for complex numbers and where the trace formula comes from. We also gain insight into the relationship between quantum theory and classical probability theory.

Collective spin squeezing with a cavity

Monika H. Schleier-Smith, Ian D. Leroux, Vladan Vuletić

We generate entangled states of an ensemble of 5*10^4 rubidium-87 atoms by optical quantum nondemolition measurement. The resonator-enhanced measurement leaves the atomic ensemble, prepared in a superposition of hyperfine clock levels, in a squeezed spin state. By comparing the resulting reduction of quantum projection noise (up to 8.8(8) dB) with the concomitant reduction of coherence, we demonstrate a clock input state with spectroscopic sensitivity 3.0(8) dB beyond the standard quantum limit.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Delocalization of a disordered bosonic system by repulsive interactions

B. Deissler, M. Zaccanti, G. Roati, C. D?Errico, M. Fattori, M. Modugno, G. Modugno & M. Inguscio

In bosonic many-body systems, disorder tends to localize particles, whereas weak
repulsive interactions between the particles have a delocalizing effect. The crossover
between these regimes has now been studied experimentally, using an optical lattice to
control disorder and interactions independently.

Non-dispersive optics using storage of light

Leon Karpa, Martin Weitz

We demonstrate the non-dispersive deflection of an optical beam in a Stern-Gerlach magnetic field. An optical pulse is initially stored as a spin-wave coherence in thermal rubidium vapour. An inhomogeneous magnetic field imprints a phase gradient onto the spin wave, which upon reacceleration of the optical pulse leads to an angular deflection of the retrieved beam. We show that the obtained beam deflection is non-dispersive, i.e. its magnitude is independent of the incident optical frequency. Compared to a Stern-Gerlach experiment carried out with propagating light under the conditions of electromagnetically induced transparency, the estimated suppression of the chromatic aberration reaches 10 orders of magnitude.