Georg Raithel, Oliver Benson, and Herbert Walther (1996)
Dynamics of the Micromaser Field
Laser Physics, 6:354-358.
The field of the one-atom maser or micromaser shows abrupt variations of its strength in certain parameter regions. In this paper the time behavior of the field in the vicinity of those regions is investigated. The transition rate between the metastable states depends on the experimental parameters. Hysteresis behavior also occurs. The experimental results are compared to a quantum Monte Carlo simulation of the maser field as well as to the result of a Fokker–Planck treatment used earlier in connection with micromaser theory. In the case of high pump rates, Ramsey-type interference structures in the micromaser resonance lines are observed. The resonance lines are obtained by recording the atomic inversion while scanning the cavity frequency across the atomic resonance. The interferences occur owing to the mixing of the coupled states of the atom–field system at the entrance and exit holes of the cavity, this leading to a Ramsey-type atom–field interaction scheme. The interference patterns observed in the experiment are approximately periodic. Individual interference fringes are triangular-shaped, whereby the steep high-frequency edges are related to metastability and hysteresis phenomena of the maser field. The observations are explained on the basis of a modified micromaser theory.