Absorption of a pulse by an optically dense medium: An argument for field quantization

P. R. Berman, J.-L. Le Gouët
2011 American Journal of Physics  
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more » ... y an optically dense medium is shown to lead to unphysical results unless the radiation field is quantized. In contrast to the photoelectric effect, the atom-field dynamics for pulsed field absorption can be obtained using elementary quantum mechanics without imposing any assumptions on the nature of the detection process. As such, pulsed field absorption offers distinct advantages over the photoelectric effect as a proving ground for field quantization. If the classical field pulse is replaced by a quantized, multimode field state, many classical field results are recovered without the inconsistencies that arise in the classical field calculation.
doi:10.1119/1.3549235 fatcat:dybdhxbdbzgctkmdkbgyehudzy