The European Physical Journal D

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 9–19 | Cite as

Spatial decoherence factor via the qubit-field interaction

  • A. VaglicaEmail author
  • G. Vetri
Atomic Physics


We analyze the time evolution of an initial spatial coherence for a two level atom whose internal degrees of freedom interact with a single mode of a cavity field. When the qubit-field subsystem is taken as an environment, the translational dynamics experiences a decoherence process which may be encoded in a decoherence factor D. We find that the field statistics affects D through the alternative paths the system-environment may follow along their entanglement, while eventual field phase properties give rise to an imaginary part of D which is related to the atomic translation. From the decoherence perspective, we analyze the relation between the atomic momentum and the imaginary part of the atomic spatial density matrix, and some considerations on its asymptotic behavior are brought into question at the conclusion of the paper.


03.65.Yz Decoherence; open systems; quantum statistical methods 37.10.Vz Mechanical effects of light on atoms, molecules, and ions 


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© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CNISM and Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche ed AstronomicheUniversità degli Studi di PalermoPalermoItaly

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