Quantum theory of light propagation in a fluctuating laser-active medium
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The basic equations are derived which describe the propagation of an electromagnetic field in a fluctuating laser-active medium. The well-known methods of Langevinequations and master-equation for a few discrete modes are generalized to meet also the case of a radiation field with continuous spectrum. The medium is described by two-level atoms which are embedded in a merely passive solid matrix and homogeneously distributed over space. They have an inversion which is kept constant by an externally applied pump. The atomic line may be homogeneously or inhomogeneously broadened. We obtain a complete set of partial differential equations for the field operators with damping terms and fluctuating forces homogeneously distributed over the material. The telegraph equation with a fluctuating force occurs as a special case. After the exact elimination of the atomic variables we obtain a nonlinear field equation for the radiation field alone. By means of a pseudo-Hamiltonian and by a simple one-dimensional example we show that in a certain sense there exists a close formal analogy between the present theory and the theory of an interacting Bose gas. The characteristic differences between the two theories are also discussed. We find, that there occurs a phase transition of the radiation field because above a certain threshold of the pump the photons condense into a single mode and establish an “offdiagonal-long-range order”. The amplitude fluctuations and the phase fluctuations, which restore the broken phase symmetry, are calculated in detail. A new condition for the occurrence of undamped spiking (pulse formation) for a continuum of modes is derived.
KeywordsQuantum Theory Light Propagation Heat Bath Amplitude Fluctuation Phase Fluctuation
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