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Collective effects in the photon statistics of thermal atomic ensembles

Ribeiro, Sofia and Cutler, Thomas F. and Adams, Charles S. and Gardiner, Simon A. (2021) 'Collective effects in the photon statistics of thermal atomic ensembles.', Physical Review A, 104 (1). 013719.


We investigate the collective scattering of coherent light from a thermal alkali-metal vapor with temperatures ranging from 350 to 450 K, corresponding to average atomic spacings between 0.7 λ and 0.1 λ. We develop a theoretical model treating the atomic ensemble as coherent, interacting, radiating dipoles. We show that the two-time second-order correlation function of a thermal ensemble can be described by an average of randomly positioned atomic pairs. Our model illustrates good qualitative agreement with the experimental results. Furthermore, we show how fine-tuning of the experimental parameters may make it possible to explore several photon statistics regimes.

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Publisher statement:Reprinted with permission from the American Physical Society: Ribeiro, Sofia, Cutler, Thomas F., Adams, Charles S. & Gardiner, Simon A. (2021). Collective effects in the photon statistics of thermal atomic ensembles. Physical Review A 104(1): 013719. © 2021 by the American Physical Society. Readers may view, browse, and/or download material for temporary copying purposes only, provided these uses are for noncommercial personal purposes. Except as provided by law, this material may not be further reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, adapted, performed, displayed, published, or sold in whole or part, without prior written permission from the American Physical Society.
Date accepted:28 June 2021
Date deposited:01 November 2021
Date of first online publication:21 July 2021
Date first made open access:01 November 2021

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