Measurement-Induced Localization of an Ultracold Lattice Gas

Y. S. Patil, S. Chakram, M. Vengalattore

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98 Scopus citations


The process of measurement can modify the state of a quantum system and its subsequent evolution. Here, we demonstrate the control of quantum tunneling in an ultracold lattice gas by the measurement backaction imposed by the act of imaging the atoms, i.e., light scattering. By varying the rate of light scattering from the atomic ensemble, we show the crossover from the weak measurement regime, where position measurements have little influence on tunneling dynamics, to the strong measurement regime, where measurement-induced localization causes a large suppression of tunneling - a manifestation of the quantum Zeno effect. Our study realizes an experimental demonstration of the paradigmatic Heisenberg microscope and sheds light on the implications of measurement on the coherent evolution of a quantum system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number140402
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number14
StatePublished - Oct 2 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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