Resonant few-photon excitation of a single-ion oscillator

Y. W. Lin*, S. Williams, B. C. Odom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We study the motion of an undamped single-ion harmonic oscillator, resonantly driven with a pulsed radiation pressure force. We demonstrate that a barium ion, initially cooled to the Doppler limit, quickly phase locks to the drive and builds up coherent oscillations above the thermal distribution after scattering of order 100 photons. In our experiment, this seeded motion is subsequently amplified and then analyzed by Doppler velocimetry. Since the coherent oscillation is conditional upon the internal quantum state of the ion, this motional excitation technique could be useful in atomic or molecular single-ion spectroscopy experiments, providing a simple protocol for state readout of nonfluorescing ions with partially closed-cycle transitions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number011402
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 31 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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