Measurement-induced spatial modulation of spontaneous decay and photon arrival times
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We report a way of manipulating the spontaneous emission process leading to a spatial modulation of spontaneous decay. The effect is observed in the case of coherently driven atoms separated by less than a transition wavelength. It is quantified by Glauber's photon-photon second-order correlation function. We show that the photon arrival time, usually regarded as an entirely random process, depends not only on where a photon is detected but also on where a former photon had been recorded previously. Our results shed light on the unexpected consequences of state reduction and entanglement for the fundamental process of spontaneous emission. 2006 The American Physical Society.