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Proceedings Paper

Microlaser: a fundamental quantum generator of light
Author(s): Kyungwon An; Ramachandra R. Dasari; Michael S. Feld
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Paper Abstract

We have achieved the first realization of a single atom microlaser, a laser oscillator with only one atom in an optical resonator. In the experiment a beam of two-level barium atoms traverses an ultrahigh Q single-mode cavity. The atoms are inverted by a (pi) -pulse field before they enter the cavity. Laser oscillation ((lambda) equals 791 nm) has been observed, with the mean number of atoms inside the mode <N> as small as 0.1, resulting in the mean number of photons in the mode <N> or 0.14. To understand the results quantitatively we used a fully-quantized one-atom microlaser theory adapted from its counterpart micromaser theory. The present theory was found to be in good agreement with the data for small <N> and <n>. Discrepancy between experiment and theory was observed for <n> very much greater than 1 and <N> approximately equal to 1. This discrepancy may be explained by the standing-wave nature of the cavity mode, in combination with the saturation effect occurring at large cavity photon number, as well as by the breakdown of single-atom interaction assumption in the theory for <N> greater than or equal to 1.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 May 1996
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2799, Atomic and Quantum Optics: High-Precision Measurements, (6 May 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.239822
Show Author Affiliations
Kyungwon An, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Ramachandra R. Dasari, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Michael S. Feld, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2799:
Atomic and Quantum Optics: High-Precision Measurements
Sergei N. Bagayev; Anatoly S. Chirkin, Editor(s)

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