The stochastic Schrödinger equation, of classical or quantum type, allows to describe open quantum systems under measurement in continuous time. In this paper we review the link between these two descriptions and we study the properties of the output of the measurement. For simplicity we deal only with the diffusive case. Firstly, we discuss the quantum stochastic Schrödinger equation, which is based on quantum stochastic calculus, and we show how to transform it into the classical stochastic Schrödinger equation by diagonalization of suitable commuting quantum observables. Then, we give the a posteriori state, the conditional system state at time t given the output up to that time, and we link its evolution to the classical stochastic Schrödinger equation. Moreover, the relation with quantum filtering theory is shortly discussed. Finally, we study the output of the continuous measurement, which is a stochastic process with probability distribution given by the rules of quantum mechanics. When the output process is stationary, at least in the long run, the spectrum of the process can be introduced and its properties studied. In particular we show how the Heisenberg uncertainty relations give rise to characteristic bounds on the possible spectra and we discuss how this is related to the typical quantum phenomenon of squeezing. We use a simple quantum system, a two-level atom stimulated by a laser, to discuss the differences between homodyne and heterodyne detection and to explicitly show squeezing and anti-squeezing of the homodyne spectrum and the Mollow triplet in the fluorescence spectrum.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.