Methodological notes

’Interaction-free’ measurement: possibilities and limitations

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Department of Physics, Vorobevy gory, Moscow, 119992, Russian Federation

The so-called ’interaction-free’ measurement is a very interesting quantum effect that allows discovering the presence of an opaque object in a given spatial domain, with the probability that the object absorbs a photon being, in principle, as low as desired. This probability is bounded from below only by a value of the order of 1/ωτ, where ω is the frequency of light and τ is the measurement time. This corresponds to the average absorbed energy of the order of \hbar/τ. The ’interaction-free’ technique can also be used to measure the coordinate of an object but only under the condition that the object is prepared in a special ’discretized’ quantum state. Such is, for instance, the state of a ponderomotive meter of electromagnetic energy, which, in principle, enables the interaction-free’ measurement of the energy contained in an electromagnetic cavity. Estimations show that with modern experimental equipment and with the help of ’interaction-free’ measurement, single atoms can be registered inside optical cavities.

Text can be downloaded in Russian. English translation is available on IOP Science.
PACS: 03.65.Ta, 03.67.−a, 42.50.Tv (all)
DOI: 10.1070/PU2004v047n07ABEH001821
Citation: Vyatchanin S P, Khalili F Ya "'Interaction-free' measurement: possibilities and limitations" Phys. Usp. 47 705–716 (2004)
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Оригинал: Вятчанин С П, Халили Ф Я «Измерение „без взаимодействия“: возможности и ограничения» УФН 174 765–777 (2004); DOI: 10.3367/UFNr.0174.200407e.0765

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