Decoherence of a two-state atom driven by coherent light

Hyunchul Nha, H. J. Carmichael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies of the decoherence induced by the quantum nature of the laser field driving a two-state atom [J. Gea-Banacloche, Phys. Rev. A 65, 022308 (2002); S. J. van Enk and H. J. Kimble, Quantum Inf. Comput. 2, 1 (2002)] have been questioned by Itano [W. M. Itano, Phys. Rev. A 68, 046301 (2003)] and the proposal made that all decoherence is due to spontaneous emission. We analyze the problem within the formalism of cascaded open quantum systems. Our conclusions agree with the Itano proposal. We show that the decoherence, nevertheless, may be divided into two parts - that due to forwards scattering and to scattering out of the laser mode. Previous authors attribute the former to the quantum nature of the laser field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number013805
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this