Damping of local Rabi oscillations in the presence of thermal motion

Anat Daniel, Ruti Agou, Omer Amit, David Groswasser, Yonathan Japha, Ron Folman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate both theoretically and experimentally the effect of thermal motion of laser-cooled atoms on the coherence of Rabi oscillations induced by an inhomogeneous driving field. The experimental results are in excellent agreement with the derived analytical expressions. For freely falling atoms with negligible collisions, as those used in our experiment, we find that the amplitude of the Rabi oscillations decays with time t as exp[-(t /τ)4], where the coherence time τ drops with increasing temperature and field gradient. We discuss the consequences of these results regarding the fidelity of Rabi rotations of atomic qubits. We also show that the process is equivalent to the loss of coherence of atoms undergoing a Ramsey sequence in the presence of static magnetic field gradients - a common situation in many applications. In addition, our results are relevant for determining the resolution when utilizing atoms as field probes. Using numerical calculations, our model can be easily extended to situations in which the atoms are confined by a potential or to situations where collisions are important.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number063402
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 4 Jun 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


Dive into the research topics of 'Damping of local Rabi oscillations in the presence of thermal motion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this