Cat in a cold niobium box

Pierre Meystre, John J. Slosser, Martin Wilkens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


At very low temperatures, steady-state macroscopic superpositions can be generated in a micromaser pumped by a stream of polarized two-level atoms. We show that the onset of these superpositions can be interpreted in terms of a first-order phase transition. While conventional bistable systems involved an incoherent mixture of two state localized at the two minima of an effective potential, the present situation is characterized by a coherent superposition of two such states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-304
Number of pages5
JournalOptics Communications
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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