Observation of moving wave packets reveals their quantum state

Ulf Leonhardt, MG Raymer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


We show how to infer the quantum state of a wave packet from position probability distributions measured during the packet's motion in an arbitrary potential. We assume a nonrelativistic one-dimensional or radial wave packet. Temporal Fourier transformation and spatial sampling with respect to a newly found set of functions project the density-matrix elements out of the probability distributions. The sampling functions are derivatives of products of regular and irregular wave functions. We note that the ability to infer quantum states in this way depends on the structure of the Schrodinger equation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1985-1989
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 1996


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