A Tale of Tiny Photons and Quantum Jumps
Howard J. Carmichael
Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Time & Place
Fri, 29 Sep 2017 11:00:00 NZDT in Rutherford Room 531, level 5
All are welcome
The evolving status of quantum jumps is a tale that reaches back 100 years. Beginning with the atomic model of Bohr, jumps between energy levels were a staple of the old quantum theory. Bohr’s jumps were soon challenged, however, by Schrödinger’s wave equation, where nothing “jumps”. Yet in the mid-1980s, quantum jumps were observed [Nagourney et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 56, 2797 (1986); Sauter et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 57, 1696 (1986); Bergquist et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 57, 1699 (1986)]. My talk will revisit this history, and, in particular, ask whether the experiments from the 1980s observe quantum jumps that actually “jump”. A surprising path to an answer will be provided, where the anatomy of the quantum jump can be tracked over time in an experiment that employs microwave photons and an artificial atom fabricated from Josephson junctions.