Quantum theory of the mazer .1. General theory Academic Article uri icon


  • The photon emission probability in a micromaser changes drastically when the kinetic energy of the pumping atoms is comparable to the atom-field interaction energy. In this situation, the atomic center-of-mass motion has to be treated quantum mechanically and the de Broglie wavelength of the atom inside the cavity is an important physical parameter. The interplay between reflection and transmission of the atoms leads to a new mechanism for induced emission. A photon is emitted by an excited atom when the de Broglie wavelength fits resonantly into the cavity. These resonances lead to the process of microwave amplification via [Formula Presented]-motion-induced emission of radiation (mazer). We derive and illustrate a general expression for the emission probability and a master equation for the mazer. We note that the probability for emission by an excited thermal atom (stimulated maser emission) is very different from the emission probability as given by the de Broglie resonances (induced mazer emission). 1997 The American Physical Society.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Meyer, G. M., Scully, M. O., & Walther, H.

citation count

  • 90

complete list of authors

  • Meyer, GM||Scully, MO||Walther, H

publication date

  • November 1997