Effect of an external field on decoherence: Part II

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A previous paper analysed the experimental results of Myatt et al. [Nature, 403, 269 (2000)] on the decoherence of superposition states of Be ions confined in a harmonic potential by a linear Paul trap and subject to a random external electric field. Based on a rigorous derivation in the absence of an external force which had previously been obtained, a heuristic approach to the problem was presented. Whereas this approach was simple and physically appealing, a more rigorous analysis is clearly desirable, which is the content of this paper. It also makes clear that, for the case of a random force, decoherence is intrinsic to quantum mechanics and does not require a dissipative environment. © 2004 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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Journal of Modern Optics

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