We investigate the time evolution of Morse coherent states in the potential of the NO molecule. We present animated wave functions and Wigner functions of the system exhibiting spontaneous formation of Schrödinger-cat states at certain stages of the time evolution. These nonclassical states are coherent superpositions of two localized states corresponding to two different positions of the center of mass. We analyze the degree of nonclassicality as the function of the expectation value of the position in the initial state. Our numerical calculations are based on a novel, essentially algebraic treatment of the Morse potential.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
Equations on this page are rendered with MathJax. Learn more.