Tangent and cotangent states of the electromagnetic field

John J. Slosser, Pierre Meystre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


We consider a lossless micromaser in which a monoenergetic, low-density beam of two-level atoms in a coherent superposition of their upper and lower states is injected inside a single-mode high-Q cavity. This is a realization of a harmonic oscillator driven by a quantum current. We find that under appropriate conditions the field may evolve to pure states, which we call tangent and cotangent states, even for mixed-state initial conditions. In various limits, they exhibit nonclassical properties such as sub-Poissonian photon statistics, or even more interestingly acquire the characteristics of macroscopic quantum superpositions. The conditions under which these states are reached, as well as the dynamical approach of the system to steady state are discussed in detail.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3867-3874
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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