Fermi's golden rule does not adequately describe Dicke's superradiance Conference Paper uri icon


  • We consider the application of Fermi's golden rule to the problem of N atoms, one of which is excited, in an extended medium with dimensions that are large compared with the wavelength. We find that, in contrast to an often-voiced opinion, the golden rule does not describe the physics of one photon absorbed and subsequently emitted by N atoms. The correct treatment includes many-body effects such as Fano interference. For a finite atomic cloud with size R, in the Markovian limit, the system will decay exponentially at a rate of around N(2/R2) faster than the single-atom decay rate.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Modern Optics

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Svidzinsky, A., Chang, J., Lipkin, H., & Scully, M.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Svidzinsky, Anatoly||Chang, Jun-Tao||Lipkin, Harry||Scully, Marlan

publication date

  • November 2008