161 research outputs found

### From a single- to a double-well Penning trap

The new generation of planar Penning traps promises to be a flexible and
versatile tool for quantum information studies. Here, we propose a fully
controllable and reversible way to change the typical trapping harmonic
potential into a double-well potential, in the axial direction. In this
configuration a trapped particle can perform coherent oscillations between the
two wells. The tunneling rate, which depends on the barrier height and width,
can be adjusted at will by varying the potential difference applied to the trap
electrodes. Most notably, tunneling rates in the range of kHz are achievable
even with a trap size of the order of 100 microns.Comment: 4 pages, 7 figure

### Spin chains with electrons in Penning traps

We demonstrate that spin chains are experimentally feasible using electrons
confined in micro-Penning traps, supplemented with local magnetic field
gradients. The resulting Heisenberg-like system is characterized by coupling
strengths showing a dipolar decay. These spin chains can be used as a channel
for short distance quantum communication. Our scheme offers high accuracy in
reproducing an effective spin chain with relatively large transmission rate.Comment: 21 pages, 1 figure, accepted for publication in PR

### Quantum spin models with electrons in Penning traps

We propose a scheme to engineer an effective spin Hamiltonian starting from a
system of electrons confined in micro-Penning traps. By means of appropriate
sequences of electromagnetic pulses, alternated to periods of free evolution,
we control the shape and strength of the spin-spin interaction. Moreover, we
can modify the effective magnetic field experienced by the particle spin. This
procedure enables us to reproduce notable quantum spin systems, such as Ising
and XY models. Thanks to its scalability, our scheme can be applied to a fairly
large number of trapped particles within the reach of near future technology.Comment: 22 pages, 1 figure, added minor changes and typos, accepted for
publication in PR

### Unravelling quantum carpets: a travelling wave approach

Quantum carpets are generic spacetime patterns formed in the probability
distributions P(x,t) of one-dimensional quantum particles, first discovered in
1995. For the case of an infinite square well potential, these patterns are
shown to have a detailed quantitative explanation in terms of a travelling-wave
decomposition of P(x,t). Each wave directly yields the time-averaged structure
of P(x,t) along the (quantised)spacetime direction in which the wave
propagates. The decomposition leads to new predictions of locations, widths
depths and shapes of carpet structures, and results are also applicable to
light diffracted by a periodic grating and to the quantum rotator. A simple
connection between the waves and the Wigner function of the initial state of
the particle is demonstrated, and some results for more general potentials are
given.Comment: Latex, 26 pages + 6 figures, submitted to J. Phys. A (connections
with prior literature clarified

### Wigner quasi-probability distribution for the infinite square well: energy eigenstates and time-dependent wave packets

We calculate the Wigner quasi-probability distribution for position and
momentum, P_W^(n)(x,p), for the energy eigenstates of the standard infinite
well potential, using both x- and p-space stationary-state solutions, as well
as visualizing the results. We then evaluate the time-dependent Wigner
distribution, P_W(x,p;t), for Gaussian wave packet solutions of this system,
illustrating both the short-term semi-classical time dependence, as well as
longer-term revival and fractional revival behavior and the structure during
the collapsed state. This tool provides an excellent way of demonstrating the
patterns of highly correlated Schrodinger-cat-like `mini-packets' which appear
at fractional multiples of the exact revival time.Comment: 45 pages, 16 embedded, low-resolution .eps figures (higher
resolution, publication quality figures are available from the authors);
submitted to American Journal of Physic

### Properties of finite Gaussians and the discrete-continuous transition

Weyl's formulation of quantum mechanics opened the possibility of studying
the dynamics of quantum systems both in infinite-dimensional and
finite-dimensional systems. Based on Weyl's approach, generalized by Schwinger,
a self-consistent theoretical framework describing physical systems
characterised by a finite-dimensional space of states has been created. The
used mathematical formalism is further developed by adding finite-dimensional
versions of some notions and results from the continuous case. Discrete
versions of the continuous Gaussian functions have been defined by using the
Jacobi theta functions. We continue the investigation of the properties of
these finite Gaussians by following the analogy with the continuous case. We
study the uncertainty relation of finite Gaussian states, the form of the
associated Wigner quasi-distribution and the evolution under free-particle and
quantum harmonic oscillator Hamiltonians. In all cases, a particular emphasis
is put on the recovery of the known continuous-limit results when the dimension
$d$ of the system increases.Comment: 21 pages, 4 figure

### Describing astronomy identity of upper primary and middle school students through structural equation modeling

We describe how young students situate themselves with respect to astronomy through an identity framework that features four dimensions: interest, utility value, confidence, and conceptual knowledge. Overall, about 900 Italian students, from 5th to 9th grade (9-14 years old), were involved in the study. We tested our model using confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling. Differences between girls and boys and across school levels were also investigated. Results show that interest has both a direct and an indirect effect on astronomy identity. The indirect effect of interest on identity is mediated by utility value. Moreover, confidence mediates the effect of interest on conceptual knowledge. Concerning differences between girls and boys, we found that the effect of interest on identity is greater for girls than for boys and that the utility value mediates the effect of interest on identity for boys but not for girls. Finally, our findings show also that the students' interest in astronomy and confidence in their performance decrease with age, with a potential negative impact on conceptual knowledge and future career choice in astronomy. The astronomy identity framework can be employed to examine the role of affective variables on performance and persistence in astronomy and to improve the design of teaching-learning activities that can potentially stimulate a lasting interest in astronomy

### Dynamical Cooling of Trapped Gases I: One Atom Problem

We study the laser cooling of one atom in an harmonic trap beyond the
Lamb-Dicke regime. By using sequences of laser pulses of different detunings we
show that the atom can be confined into just one state of the trap, either the
ground state or an excited state of the harmonic potential. The last can be
achieved because under certain conditions an excited state becomes a dark
state. We study the problem in one and two dimensions. For the latter case a
new cooling mechanism is possible, based on the destructive interference
between the effects of laser fields in different directions, which allows the
creation of variety of dark states. For both, one and two dimensional cases,
Monte Carlo simulations of the cooling dynamics are presented.Comment: LaTeX file with 8 pages, 7 eps figures. Submitted to Phys. Rev.

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