Quantum Control of the Inevitable

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Science  25 Sep 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5385, pp. 1973-1974
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5385.1973

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Long after its formulation, quantum mechanics still offers new surprises. In their Perspective, Scully and Zhu discuss recent efforts to control quantum states coherently with laser radiation. In particular, some new ways have been found to turn off spontaneous emission of radiation--a process that once seemed an inevitable process of atomic energy decay.