The Quantum Mechanical Foundations of Semiclassical Radiation Theories
The wide interest, in recent years, in the validity of semiclassical radiation theory (there appear to be several such theories, if one examines their — usually implicit — definitions carefully) may be attributed to two causes. The first is the successful use of such theories in a number of important phenomena, such as maser and laser operation, self-induced transparency, various atomic and nuclear resonance effects, and photoelectric detection. The second is the attempt, on the one hand, to make semiclassical theory a fundamental theory in place of quantum electrodynamics,  and, on the other hand, to question its validity under conditions for which its use had been considered acceptable. It is the purpose of the present discussion to examine, from an orthodox quantum mechanical viewpoint, the conditions for which the use of semiclassical radiation theory is valid.
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