Colloquium on October 8, 2012

Steve Gervin
Yale University

Quantum Measurements and Back-Action (Spooky and Otherwise)


The topic of measurements and measurement back-action in quantum mechanics was endlessly confusing to the founders of quantum mechanics who were forced to argue in terms of gedanken experiments. Now we must face this confusion because real experiments are happening. This talk will present an introductory tutorial on how real measurements work and how they affect the state of the quantum system under observation. The basic concepts will be illustrated with the Stern-Gerlach experiment and then extended to include dispersive coupling of atoms or qubits to resonant cavities.