Theory of pseudomodes in quantum optical processes

B.J. Dalton, S. M. Barnett, B.M. Garraway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Citations (Scopus)
61 Downloads (Pure)


This paper deals with non-Markovian behavior in atomic systems coupled to a structured reservoir of quantum electromagnetic field modes, with particular relevance to atoms interacting with the field in high-Q cavities or photonic band-gap materials. In cases such as the former, we show that the pseudomode theory for single-quantum reservoir excitations can be obtained by applying the Fano diagonalization method to a system in which the atomic transitions are coupled to a discrete set of (cavity) quasimodes, which in turn are coupled to a continuum set of (external) quasimodes with slowly varying coupling constants and continuum mode density. Each pseudomode can be identified with a discrete quasimode, which gives structure to the actual reservoir of true modes via the expressions for the equivalent atom-true mode coupling constants. The quasimode theory enables cases of multiple excitation of the reservoir to now be treated via Markovian master equations for the atom-discrete quasimode system. Applications of the theory to one, two, and many discrete quasimodes are made. For a simple photonic band-gap model, where the reservoir structure is associated with the true mode density rather than the coupling constants, the single quantum excitation case appears to be equivalent to a case with two discrete quasimodes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)053813/1-053813/21
Number of pages21
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2001


  • non-Markovian behavior
  • atomic systems
  • cavities
  • pseudomode theory
  • quantum
  • photonic band-gap
  • quasimodes


Dive into the research topics of 'Theory of pseudomodes in quantum optical processes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this