Superradiance and Superfluorescence of a Dicke Point Source
Spontaneous emission of electromagnetic radiation from an atomic (or molecular) system in a correlated state was first treated by Dicke . Using a point source model, he defined collective energy eigenstates of two level atoms. The quantum numbers labeling these Dicke states are the energy quantum number M and the cooperation number J. If N is the total number of atoms in the sample, then 0 ≤ J ≤ N/2 and −J ≤ M ≤ J. Dicke found that the initial radiation rate from a system in such a collective state is proportional to (J+M)(J-M+1). A state with J ≃ N/2 and M ≃ 0 has the maximum emission rate, proportional to N2. Such a state he called superradiant. A fully excited state has M = J = N/2, giving an initial spontaneous emission rate proportional to N. In the model J is a constant of the motion, but the average M decreases as the system loses energy through radiation, so that a fully excited state decays to a state with average M ≃ 0 and thus radiates at near superradiant levels .
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