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Proceedings Paper

Nonclassical single-atom radiation generators
Author(s): Herbert Walther
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Paper Abstract

In this contribution quantum-effects in the radiation-atom interaction will be reviewed. It is well known that most of the phenomena involving laser light can be described by semi-classical methods however phenomena such as laser noise the spectra and photon statistics of resonance fluorescence and the interaction of atoms in the single-atom maser require a quantization of the radiation field. In this paper we will describe results on the latter two effects. We will start with the discussion of resonance fluorescence. 1. RESONANCE FLUORESCENCE The resonant interaction of laser light with atomic systems has received considerable theoretical and experimental attention over the past decade. Until the advent of the laser light sources for spectroscopy consisted of ordinary spectral lamps excited by DC or RF discharges and produced light having a very broad spectral width and hence very short correlation time and a relatively low intensity. For such fields both the experimental and theoretical results are in general well understood. However the development of the laser made available light sources which are sufficiently intense that an atomic (or molecular) transition can be very easily saturated. In addition the lasers are highly monochromatic having a coherence time much greater than typical natural lifetimes of excited atomic states and finally tunable making it possible to selectively excite particular atomic transitions. The theoretical analysis of this physical situation requires the use of techniques more general than

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 1990
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 1319, Optics in Complex Systems, (1 July 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.22121
Show Author Affiliations
Herbert Walther, Max Planck Institut fuer Quantenoptik (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1319:
Optics in Complex Systems
F. Lanzl; H.-J. Preuss; G. Weigelt, Editor(s)

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