The micromaser as a problem in “Quantum chaology”

  • T. A. B. Kennedy
  • P. Meystre
  • E. M. Wright
Invited Lectures Part IV: Quantum Electrodynamics in a Cavity
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 282)


The comparison between semiclassical and quantum descriptions of the micromaser is obviously far from complete. At this point, we do not have an explanation for the reported results. When we started this work, we merely wanted to convince ourselves once more that spin-1/2 systems are not good candidates to study the quantum-classical correspondence in situations exhibiting classical dynamic instabilities. Clearly, our results force us to revise at least temporarily this view, and open up more questions than they answer. Are they accidental or generic ? Can we recover more than just the average quantum mechanical average energy? What is the physical origin of the agreement, and in particular, what is the role of dissipation? What are its implications?

The qualitative agreement that we found might be just a coincidence, but then, it would have to be a rather remarkable one, specially since the quantum mechanical function .l(Θ) is far from trivial. Whether the interpretation of our results will wind up being rather obvious or having any fundamental relevance remains to be seen.


Semiclassical Limit Quantum Chaos Successive Atom Intracavity Field Number State Representation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. A. B. Kennedy
    • 1
  • P. Meystre
    • 1
  • E. M. Wright
    • 1
  1. 1.Optical Sciences CenterUniversity of ArizonaTucson

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