Abstract

A composite atom-cavity system exhibits complex behavior with respect to spontaneous emission, resonance fluorescence, and transmission spectra.1–3 An early investigation1 showed that for an atom in an ideal cavity, the spontaneous-emission spectra show a doublet splitting in the case of very weak excitation. This splitting, which arises from vacuum-field Rabi oscillation, is regarded as an inherently quantum phenomenon.1,2 However, recent experiments and theoretical analyses have demonstrated that the multiatom vacuum Rabi splitting may be regarded as a feature of linear dispersion theory.3 This approach is dramatically different from the one employed in QED descriptions of the problem.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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