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Proceedings Paper

Experimental detection of photons emitted during inhibited spontaneous emission
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Paper Abstract

We present an experimental realization of a "sudden mirror replacement" thought experiment, in which a mirror that is inhibiting spontaneous emission is quickly replaced by a photodetector. The question is, can photons be counted immediately, or only after a retardation time that allows the emitter to couple to the changed modes of the cavity, and for light to propagate to the detector? Our results, obtained with a parametric downconverter, are consistent with the cavity QED prediction that photons can be counted immediately, and are in conflict with the retardation time prediction.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 August 2007
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6664, The Nature of Light: What Are Photons?, 66640E (31 August 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.734807
Show Author Affiliations
David Branning, Trinity College (United States)
Alan L. Migdall, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
Paul G. Kwiat, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6664:
The Nature of Light: What Are Photons?
Chandrasekhar Roychoudhuri; Al F. Kracklauer; Katherine Creath, Editor(s)

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