Manipulating and probing microwave fields in a cavity by quantum non-demolition photon counting

Haroche, S. and Dotsenko, I. and Deleglise, S. and Sayrin, C. and Zhou, X. and Gleyzes, S. and Guerlin, C. and Kuhr, S. and Brune, M. and Raimond, J-M (2009) Manipulating and probing microwave fields in a cavity by quantum non-demolition photon counting. Physica Scripta, 2009 (T137). ISSN 0031-8949

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Abstract

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 light probes. Beyond realizing fundamental tests of quantum measurement theory, we use this QND method to prepare non-classical Fock and Schrodinger cat states of the field and to reconstruct their Wigner functions. Monitoring the evolution of these functions provides a direct observation of the decoherence process. Quantum feedback procedures will enable us to steer the field towards target states and to protect them against decoherence.