Measurement-induced localization of an ultracold lattice gas
Mukund Vengalattore, Cornell University
The act of observation has profound consequences on a quantum system. I will describe our experimental demonstration of a Heisenberg microscope based on nondestructive imaging of a lattice gas. We show that the act of imaging these atoms induces their localization - a manifestation of the quantum Zeno effect. Further, by gradually increasing the rate at which the atoms are subjected to position measurements, we observe the crossover from the regime of ‘weak measurements’ - where the act of measurement has negligible effect on quantum motion, to the regime of ‘strong measurements’ - where measurements cause strong localization. This crossover is an instance of emergent classicality in a quantum system when subjected to rapid measurements. I will also describe our ongoing efforts on using measurement backaction to cool, manipulate and probe macroscopic optomechanical systems for applications including quantum sensing and transduction.