Exact Quantum Theory for N Rydberg Atoms in a Cavity
The collective emission of radiation from a sample of N 2-level atoms occupying a compact region of dimensions smaller than a wavelength λ of the atomic transition has been of great interest, both theoretically and experimentally, ever since the pioneering work of Dicke1 (see e.g. Refs. 2,3 and the many papers cited in Ref. 3). Because of the difficulty of placing a large number of atoms within the small region required by the Dicke modela, all of the experiments, since the first observation of ‘super-radiance’4 (or ‘superfluorescence’5), have been performed on extended systems where propagation effects are fundamental5. Theory and experiment in this context are reviewed in Ref. 3, for example.
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