A master equation for a two-sided optical cavity

Thomas M. Barlow, Robert Bennett, Almut Beige

Journal of Modern Optics

Quantum optical systems, like trapped ions, are routinely described by master equations. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a master equation for two-sided optical cavities with spontaneous photon emission. To do so, we use the same notion of photons as in linear optics scattering theory and consider a continuum of travelling-wave cavity photon modes. Our model predicts the same stationary state photon emission rates for the different sides of a laser-driven optical cavity as classical theories. Moreover, it predicts the same time evolution of the total cavity photon number as the standard standing-wave description in experiments with resonant and near-resonant laser driving. The proposed resonator Hamiltonian can be used, for example, to analyse coherent cavity-fiber networks [E. Kyoseva et al., New J. Phys. 14, 023023 (2012)].

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