Precise test of quantum jump theory
Hulet, Randall G.
Itano, Wayne M.
Quantum jumps due solely to spontaneous Raman scattering between the Zeeman sublevels of a single Mg+24 ion have been observed in the fluorescence emitted by the ion. A theory of quantum jumps for this system predicts that coherences between excited levels cause the ratio of the mean duration of the "fluorescence-on periods" to the mean duration of the "fluorescence-off periods" to be independent of laser intensity. The measured value agrees with the predicted one to within the measurement precision of 2%. The distribution of the durations of the off periods also agrees with theory.