By P. Dirac
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Extra info for Development of Quantum Theory: J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Prize Acceptance Speech
We show that the interaction with a single, non-resonant atom transforms a coherent state into a cat, whose decoherence is then theoretically analyzed. We explain how a probe atom, a ‘quantum mouse’ can be used to assess the decoherence of the cavity cat. Finally, Section 4 is devoted to the perspectives opened for these decoherence studies: creation of very large cats by resonant atom-ﬁeld interaction, direct measurement of the cat’s Wigner function, providing a detailed insight into the decoherence mechanisms and creation of non-local cat states, merging the EinsteinPodolsky-Rosen  non-locality and decoherence.
We conclude by giving an alternative expression of W ( and L. Davidovich, private communication). Using: |x − x x = e−i(x−x )p D(x + ip)| − 2 2 , (38) and x+ x x |= |D(−x − ip)ei(x+x )p , 2 2 (39) Monitoring Mesoscopic Decoherence in a Cavity 47 which follow directly from the deﬁnition of D(α) and replacing |x ± x /2 in Eq. (36) by the expressions given by Eqs. (38) and (39), noting ﬁnally that P|x /2 = | − x /2 [see Eq. (32)], we get: 2 T r[D(−α)ρD(α)P] . (40) π The Wigner distribution at α is the expectation value in the state translated by −α of the ﬁeld parity operator.
P. 425. Edited by W. H. Zurek. Redwood City: Addison-Wesley, 1990.  R. B. Griﬃths, Consistent Histories and the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, J. Stat. Phys. 36, 219 (1984).  F. Haake and D. F. Walls, In Quantum Optics IV. Edited by J. D. Harvey, and D. F. Walls. Berlin: Springer Verlag, 1986.  S. Habib, K. Shizume and W. H. Zurek, Decoherence, Chaos, and the Correspondence Principle, Phys. Rev. Lett. 80 (20), 4361 (1998).  S. Haroche, Entanglement, Mesoscopic Superpositions and Decoherence Studies with Atoms and Photons in a Cavity, Physica Scripta T76, 159 (1998).