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What is CAT state

  1. Sep 5, 2006 #1
    i read somewhere about some scientists putting beryllium atoms in CAT state
    i dont know what it is
    could anyone tell me?
    thank you

    heres what i read :

    Quoting the news item in a non-flowery language -

    " this fall, a team of scientists, led by dietrich leibfried, at National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder ,Colarado has put half a dozen beryllium atoms in " cat state" - a condition of being in two diametrically opposed conditions at once . these atoms were spinninbg clockwise and counter clockwise at the same time......"

    [ came in a newspaper on 25th december ,2005]

    there was some more
    but i didnt understand it
    about some atom cloud or electron cloud or something
    could anyone explain these experiments to me??
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 5, 2006 #2


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    Science Advisor
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    Probably better in the physics forum.

    The cloud would be a Boise-Einstein Condensate.
    The cat refers to Schrodinger's cat - a quantum physics concept.

    There is lots of info on the web, if you look up those keywords
    Good luck with that.
  4. Sep 7, 2006 #3
    A cat state in quantum optics is a special superposition of two coherent states:

    [tex] \vert \psi \rangle = \vert \alpha \rangle + \vert - \alpha \rangle [\tex]
  5. Sep 10, 2006 #4
    Agreed, cat state refers to a superposition of states, like Schrodingers cat.

    For instance Ammonia molecules can be in "cat" states. The nitrogen can be on one side or the other of the H3's and you cannot know which without checking.
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