A theory of photodetection is presented which takes fully into account the relaxation of the photosensitive atoms representing the detector. Atoms, electromagnetic field, and atom-field interaction are described in terms of the Dicke Hamiltonian with additional coupling of the atoms to a reservoir. The time evolution of the joint detector and field states is derived using master equation techniques. Simple relations between the dynamics of field and atomic moments are obtained in the case of zero detector temperature. The attenuation of the field moments as well as the photocounting probability for any initial field state are found to involve not only the atom-field, but also the atom-reservoir coupling parameters.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Mathematical Physics
- Physics and Astronomy(all)