Remnants of semiclassical bistability in the few-photon regime of cavity QED.

  title={Remnants of semiclassical bistability in the few-photon regime of cavity QED.},
  author={Joseph Kerckhoff and M. Armen and Hideo Mabuchi},
  journal={Optics express},
  volume={19 24},
Broadband homodyne detection of the light transmitted by a Fabry-Perot cavity containing a strongly-coupled (133)Cs atom is used to probe the dynamic optical response in a regime where semiclassical theory predicts bistability but strong quantum corrections should apply. While quantum fluctuations destabilize true equilibrium bistability, our observations confirm the existence of metastable states with finite lifetimes and a hysteretic response is apparent when the optical drive is modulated on… 

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