Measurement master equation

James D. Cresser, Stephen M. Barnett, John Jeffers, David T. Pegg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


We derive a master equation describing the evolution of a quantum system subjected to a sequence of observations. These measurements occur randomly at a given rate and can be of a very general form. As an example, we analyse the effects of these measurements on the evolution of a two-level atom driven by an electromagnetic field. For the associated quantum trajectories we find Rabi oscillations, Zeno-effect type behaviour and random telegraph evolution spawned by mini quantum jumps as we change the rates and strengths of measurement. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-361
Number of pages10
JournalOptics Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2006


  • continuous measurement
  • master equations
  • zeno effect
  • rabi oscillations
  • laser-atom interactions
  • magnetic resonance


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