Quantum zeno and anti-zeno effects: Without the rotating-wave approximation

H. Zheng*, Shi Yao ZHU, M. S. Zubairy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

128 Citations (Scopus)


We show that the counterrotating, neglected in the previous studies of the quantum Zeno effect (QZE) in atomic decay, can have a large impact on the short-time evolution. We calculate the electron self-energy, the Lamb shift, and the QZE without making the rotating-wave approximation (RWA) and show that, for hydrogen in free space, the Zeno time is longer by 2 orders of magnitude than that obtained from the RWA. We also show that there is no anti-Zeno effect as the counterrotating terms and rotating terms represent the opposite processes in the higher frequency region. Consequently, the experimental measurement of the QZE may be much easier than what was determined with the RWA results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number200404
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2008

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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