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Influence of measurement on the lifetime and the linewidth of unstable systems

Brahim Elattari, S. A. Gurvitz
2000 Physical Review A. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics  
We investigate the quantum Zeno effect in the case of electron tunneling out of a quantum dot in the presence of continuous monitoring by a detector. It is shown that the Schr\"odinger equation for the whole system can be reduced to Bloch-type rate equations describing the combined time-development of the detector and the measured system. Using these equations we find that continuous measurement of the unstable system does not affect its exponential decay to a reservoir with a constant density
more » ... a constant density of states. The width of the energy distribution of the tunneling electron, however, is not equal to the inverse life-time -- it increases due to the decoherence generated by the detector. We extend the analysis to the case of a reservoir described by an energy dependent density of states, and we show that continuous measurement of such quantum systems affects both the exponential decay rate and the energy distribution. The decay does not always slow down, but might be accelerated. The energy distribution of the tunneling electron may reveal the lines invisible before the measurement.
doi:10.1103/physreva.62.032102 fatcat:23bcarwqofervoo4ctdasgb6de