Abstract

We study the time response of a quantum optical system to a step excitation. The system is composed of a collection of N two-level atoms coupled to a single mode of the electromagnetic field of an optical cavity. The size of the step excitation is not limited to the low-intensity regime. Before the system reaches steady state there is an oscillatory exchange of energy between the atoms and the cavity. We compare the experimental results quantitatively with theoretical calculations and with previous transmission spectroscopy measurements.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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