Quantum Statistics of Stimulated Raman Scattering
The behavior of individual light pulses generated by stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) is dominated by quantum mechanical fluctuations. In particular, the energy of such puls s in the unsaturated gain regime has been shown, both theoretically1 and experimentally2, to undergo large-scale fluctuations from pulse to pulse. Since the system contains many molecules (~1020) and scattered photons (106−1015), SRS provides an opportunity to study the effects of quantum noise in macroscopic systems. A close analogy exists between SRS and superfluorescence (SF) from a collection of inverted two-level atoms3, where fluctuations are observed in the delay times of the superfluorescent pulse4. Thus the present experiments may help clarify the mechanism of the quantum initiation of superfluorescence. Other macroscopic systems in which quantum noise is important include amplified spontaneous emission5, transient laser buildup6, and laser mode switching7.
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