Method and Apparatus for Counting Photons in a Single-Mode, Coherent Microwave Field.
Patent, Filed 20 Dec 94, patented 9 Apr 96,
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY WASHINGTON DC
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A method and apparatus are provided for determining the number of photons in a single-mode, coherent microwave field. A plurality of Rydberg atoms are generated whereby each Rydberg atom has an energy state defined by a plurality of energy levels. The Rydberg atoms are passed through the microwave field one at a time. An exit state of the microwave field in terms of phase is measured as each Rydberg atom exits the microwave field. An exit energy level of each Rydberg atom exiting the microwave field is also detected. The number of Rydberg atoms exiting the microwave field in each of four measurement classes defined by the exit state and exit energy level are counted.
- Nuclear Instrumentation