Continuous Measurement of the Position of a Single Cold Atom: Towards the Quantum-Classical Transition

Daniel Steck

Short Abstract
Quantum mechanics is fundamentally a theory of measurement, and recently a paradigm in quantum optics has arisen for describing the continuous measurement of quantum systems. Interesting phenomena can happen in continuously observed systems, due to the interplay of the dynamical evolution and the measurement process. In particular, the evolution of a quantum system under a continuous measurement process is both nonlinear and stochastic. I will describe our interests in continuous measurements of atomic motion, especially in applying them in understanding the quantum - classical transition for classically chaotic systems. I will also describe our experimental progress towards studying these systems, as well as the theoretical formalism for incorporating measurement information into the evolving quantum state.