Creation of coherence in Bose-Einstein condensates by atom detection

Peter Horak, Stephen M. Barnett

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We investigate the creation of a relative phase between two Bose-Einstein condensates, initially in number states, by detection of atoms and show how the system approaches a coherent state. Two very distinct time scales are found: one for the creation of the interference is of the order of the detection time for a few single atoms and another, for the preparation of coherent states, is of the order of the detection time for a significant fraction of the total number of atoms. Approximate analytic solutions are derived and compared with exact numerical results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3421-3436
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Bose-Einstein condensates
  • atoms
  • optics
  • atomic physics

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