ROCHESTER UNIV NY INST OF OPTICS
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Recent work at the University of Rochester that was supported by the Army Research Office through the University Research Initiative Program has been featured in a recent book Taming the Atom by Hans Christian von Baeyer. This report contains an except from that book that shows that the work in Rochester is the realization of Erwin Schrodingers hope in the earliest days of quantum theory that a solution to his equation could be found in the form of a localized wave packet moving along the elliptical orbit predicted by classical theory. In a series of calculations and experiments the group in Rochester has shown that a short laser pulse can be used to excite such a wave packet state and that as the wave packet moves many times around the orbit it undergoes a complicated time evolutions in which it spreads all the way around the orbit, and then repeatedly relocalizes in the form of a single wave packet or a series of identical sub- wave packets equally spaced around the orbit. This work sheds new light on the boundary between microscopic quantum systems and macroscopic classical systems.
- Atomic and Molecular Physics and Spectroscopy
- Quantum Theory and Relativity