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Atomic electron transition is a change of an electron from one energy level to another within an atom[1] or artificial atom.[2] It appears discontinuous as the electron "jumps" from one energy level to another, typically in a few nanoseconds or less. It is also known as an electronic (de-)excitation or atomic transition or quantum jump.

Electron transitions cause the emission or absorption of Electromagnetic radiation in the form of quantized units called photons. Their statistics are Poissonian, and the time between jumps is exponentially distributed.[3] The damping time constant (which ranges from nanoseconds to a few seconds) relates to the natural, pressure, and field broadening of spectral lines. The larger the energy separation of the states between which the electron jumps, the shorter the wavelength of the photon emitted.

The observability of quantum jumps was predicted by Hans Dehmelt in 1975, and they were first observed using trapped ions of mercury at NIST in 1986.[4]

In 2019, it was demonstrated in an experiment with a superconducting artificial atom consisting of two strongly-hybridized transmon qubits placed inside a readout resonator cavity at 15 mK, that the evolution of some jumps is continuous, coherent, deterministic, and reversible.[5] On the other hand other quantum jumps are inherently unpredictable ie. nondeterministic.[6]
See also

Burst noise
Ensemble interpretation
Glowing pickle demonstration
Molecular electronic transition for molecules
Spontaneous emission
Stimulated emission


Schombert, James. "Quantum physics" University of Oregon Department of Physics
Vijay, R; Slichter, D. H; Siddiqi, I (2011). "Observation of Quantum Jumps in a Superconducting Artificial Atom". Physical Review Letters. 106 (11): 110502. arXiv:1009.2969. Bibcode:2011PhRvL.106k0502V. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.110502. PMID 21469850.
Deléglise, S. "Observing the quantum jumps of light" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on November 7, 2010. Retrieved September 17, 2010.
Itano, W. M.; Bergquist, J. C.; Wineland, D. J. (2015). "Early observations of macroscopic quantum jumps in single atoms" (PDF). International Journal of Mass Spectrometry. 377: 403. Bibcode:2015IJMSp.377..403I. doi:10.1016/j.ijms.2014.07.005.
Minev, Z. K.; Mundhada, S. O.; Shankar, S.; Reinhold, P.; Gutiérrez-Jáuregui, R.; Schoelkopf, R. J..; Mirrahimi, M.; Carmichael, H. J.; Devoret, M. H. (June 3, 2019). "To catch and reverse a quantum jump mid-flight". Nature. 570 (7760): 200–204. arXiv:1803.00545. Bibcode:2019Natur.570..200M. doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1287-z. PMID 31160725.

Snizhko, Kyrylo; Kumar, Parveen; Romito, Alessandro (March 23, 2020). "The Quantum Zeno effect appears in stages". arXiv:2003.10476 [quant-ph].

External links
Look up quantum leap in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Schrödinger, Erwin (August 1952). "Are there quantum jumps? Part I" (PDF). The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. 3 (10): 109–123. doi:10.1093/bjps/iii.10.109. Part 2
"There are no quantum jumps, nor are there particles!" by H. D. Zeh, Physics Letters A172, 189 (1993).
Gleick, James (October 21, 1986). "Physicists Finally Get To See the Quantum Jump". The New York Times. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
Ball, Philip (June 5, 2019). "Quantum Leaps, Long Assumed to Be Instantaneous, Take Time". Quanta Magazine. Retrieved June 6, 2019.

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