Nonlinear atomic homodyne detection: A technique to detect macroscopic superpositions in a micromaser

Martin Wilkens, Pierre Meystre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

118 Scopus citations


We propose a measurement scheme to detect the multiphoton coherences inherent in the macroscopic quantum superpositions that can be generated in a superconducting micromaser cavity. The scheme is a nonlinear version of a single-atom homodyne detector. It is shown that the ionization probability of a single test atom is given in terms of the Wigner characteristic function of the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3832-3835
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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