Decoherence of a two-state atom driven by coherent light Academic Article uri icon


  • 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. 2005 The American Physical Society.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Nha, H., & Carmichael, H. J.

citation count

  • 16

complete list of authors

  • Nha, H||Carmichael, HJ

publication date

  • January 2005