Cavity quantum optics and the quantum measurement process

Pierre Meystre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


This chapter discusses the cavity quantum optics and the quantum measurement process. The chapter presents the important aspects of the Jaynes-Cummings model, describing the dipole interaction between a single two-level atom and a single mode of the electromagnetic field. The cavity quantum electrodynamics (QED) is discussed. The effects of enhanced and inhibited spontaneous emission in density-of-modes approach and the coupled-modes approach are also discussed. The central element of most of these experiments is the micromaser. The chapter treats quantum measurements in a way that emphasizes the difference between ensemble averages and repeated measurements on a single quantum system. Quantum nondemolition measurements are proposed as a way to eliminate this back action of the measurements on the state of the system. The chapter examines macroscopic superpositions of quantum states (Schrödinger cats) and of their generation in micromasers pumped by a stream of polarized atoms. Mechanical effects of light on the center-of-mass motion of atoms, combined with cavity QED, open up new opportunities to study the dynamics of the light-matter interaction and investigate the effects and potential uses of quantum measurements on single quantum systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-355
Number of pages95
JournalProgress in Optics
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces


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