Recent advances in levitated optomechanics provide new perspectives for the use of rotational degrees of freedom for the development of quantum technologies as well as for testing fundamental physics. As for the translational case, their use, especially in the quantum regime, is limited by environmental noises, the characterization of which is fundamental in order to assess, control, and minimize their effect, in particular decoherence. Here, we present a general perturbative approach to compute decoherence for a quantum system in a superposition of its rotational degrees of freedom. The specific cases of the dipole-dipole and quadrupole-quadrupole interactions are solved explicitly, and we show that the rotational degrees of freedom decohere on a time scale that can be longer than the translational one.
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© 2021 American Physical Society.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics