The quantum Zeno effect and quantum feedback in cavity QED

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I. Dotsenko, J. Bernu, S. Deléglise, C. Sayrin, M. Brune, J.M. Raimond, S. Haroche, M. Mirrahimi, P. Rouchon


Physica Scripta T140, 014004 (2010)
doi: 10.1088/0031-8949/2010/T140/014004

We explore experimentally the fundamental projective properties of a quantum measurement and their application in the control of a system’s evolution. We perform quantum non-demolition (QND) photon counting on a microwave field trapped in a very-high-Q superconducting cavity, employing circular Rydberg atoms as non-absorbing probes of light. By repeated measurement of the cavity field we demonstrated the freeze of its initially coherent evolution, illustrating the back action of the photon number measurement on the field’s phase. On the contrary, by utilizing a weak QND measurement in combination with the control injection of coherent pulses, we plan to force the field to deterministically evolve towards any target photon-number state. This quantum feedback procedure will enable us to prepare and protect photon-number states against decoherence.