Master-Equation Approach to Spontaneous Emission. II. Emission from a System of Harmonic Oscillators Academic Article uri icon


  • In a previous investigation, a general theory for spontaneous emission from a system of N identical atoms or molecules was developed. This theory was based on the master equation recently derived in another paper. In that paper, the master equation relating to spontaneous emission from a system of harmonic oscillators was also derived. In the present investigation, the normally ordered correlation functions for the oscillator system are calculated and these are then used to calculate the radiation-field correlation functions in the far zone. These correlation functions are compared for two different modes of excitation, viz., (i) when each of the oscillators is excited initially to a Fock state, and (ii) when each of the oscillators is excited to some coherent state. It is found that the even-order (2n) correlation functions for the second mode of excitation (superradiant excitation) are of order N2n higher than those for the first mode of excitation. It is also shown that the photoelectron counting distribution for the superradiant excitation is Poissonian. Finally, the non-Markoffian effects in the spontaneous emission are studied in detail and their connection with exact results is described. 1971 The American Physical Society.

published proceedings

  • Physical Review A

author list (cited authors)

  • Agarwal, G. S.

citation count

  • 26

complete list of authors

  • Agarwal, GS

publication date

  • May 1971