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Decoherence due to elastic Rayleigh scattering



Hermann Uys, Michael J. Biercuk, Aaron Vandevender, Christian Ospelkaus, Dominic Meiser, R. Ozeri, John Bollinger


We present theoretical and experimental studies of the decoherence of hyperfine ground-state superpositions due to elastic Rayleigh scattering of off-resonant light. We demonstrate that under appropriate conditions, elastic Rayleigh scattering can be the dominant source of decoherence, contrary to previous discussions in the literature. We show that the elastic-scattering decoherence rate of a two-level system is given by the square of the difference between the elastic-scattering \textitamplitudes} for the two levels, and that for certain detunings of the light, the amplitudes can interfere constructively even when the elastic scattering \textitrates} from the two levels are equal. We confirm this prediction through calculations and measurements of the total decoherence rate for a superposition of the valence electron spin levels in the ground state of 9Be+ in a 4.5 T magnetic field.
Physical Review Letters


decoherence, hyperfine superposition states, ion trap, light scattering, master equation, Penning trap, Raman scattering, Rayleigh scattering


Uys, H. , Biercuk, M. , Vandevender, A. , Ospelkaus, C. , Meiser, D. , Ozeri, R. and Bollinger, J. (2010), Decoherence due to elastic Rayleigh scattering, Physical Review Letters, [online], (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created November 11, 2010, Updated October 12, 2021