Quantum Coherence

  • J. T. Mendonça
  • Hugo Terças
Part of the Springer Series on Atomic, Optical, and Plasma Physics book series (SSAOPP, volume 70)


In this chapter, we explore the topic of matter wave interferometry and of quantum coherence, which plays a central role in quantum theory and is also used for many experimental applications. Atom interferometers are briefly discussed, and decoherence processes are introduced. We then consider decoherence of atom interference fringes, associated with quantum fluctuations of gravitational space-time. In the frame of the quantum theory of gravitation, still under construction, a fluctuating space-time foam should exist at the Planck space-time scale. Based on recent theoretical models, we speculate on the possible observation of quantum gravitational fluctuations, by using matter wave interferometry. Finally, the interference and tunneling of two condensates, confined in nearby potential wells, is considered, and the condensate analogue of Josephson oscillations is described.


Scalar Field Matter Wave Atom Interferometer Atom Interferometry Decoherence Process 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. T. Mendonça
    • 1
  • Hugo Terças
    • 2
  1. 1.Instituto Superior TecnicoLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Université Blaise PascalAubière CedexFrance

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