Higher-Order Photon Bunching in a Semiconductor Microcavity

Experimentelle Physik II, Technische Universität Dortmund, D-44221 Dortmund, Germany.
Science (Impact Factor: 33.61). 08/2009; 325(5938):297-300. DOI: 10.1126/science.1174488
Source: PubMed


Quantum mechanically indistinguishable particles such as photons may show collective behavior. Therefore, an appropriate description of a light field must consider the properties of an assembly of photons instead of independent particles. We have studied multiphoton correlations up to fourth order in the single-mode emission of a semiconductor microcavity in the weak and strong coupling regimes. The counting statistics of single photons were recorded with picosecond time resolution, allowing quantitative measurement of the few-photon bunching inside light pulses. Our results show bunching behavior in the strong coupling case, which vanishes in the weak coupling regime as the cavity starts lasing. In particular, we verify the n factorial prediction for the zero-delay correlation function of n thermal light photons.

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    • "Photon bunching is not limited to the two photon case and the degree of second-order coherence of a light field can be extended to arbitrarily high orders n [25]. Starting with the more general form of g (2) (t, τ ) with the photon number operatorˆn "
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