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Quantum Zeno effect appears in stages

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>29/09/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Physical Review Research
Issue number3
Number of pages12
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In the quantum Zeno effect, quantum measurements can block the coherent oscillation of a two level system by freezing its state to one of the measurement eigenstates. The effect is conventionally controlled by the measurement frequency. Here we study the development of the Zeno regime as a function of the measurement strength for a continuous partial measurement. We show that the onset of the Zeno regime is marked by a cascade of transitions in the system dynamics as the measurement strength is increased. Some of these transitions are only apparent in the collective behavior of individual quantum trajectories and are invisible to the average dynamics. They include the appearance of a region of dynamically inaccessible states and of singularities in the steady-state probability distribution of states. These predicted dynamical features, which can be readily observed in current experiments, show the coexistence of fundamentally unpredictable quantum jumps with those continuously monitored and reverted in recent experiments.