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31 August 2007 Experimental detection of photons emitted during inhibited spontaneous emission
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Abstract
We present an experimental realization of a "sudden mirror replacement" thought experiment, in which a mirror that is inhibiting spontaneous emission is quickly replaced by a photodetector. The question is, can photons be counted immediately, or only after a retardation time that allows the emitter to couple to the changed modes of the cavity, and for light to propagate to the detector? Our results, obtained with a parametric downconverter, are consistent with the cavity QED prediction that photons can be counted immediately, and are in conflict with the retardation time prediction.
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David Branning, Alan L. Migdall, and Paul G. Kwiat "Experimental detection of photons emitted during inhibited spontaneous emission", Proc. SPIE 6664, The Nature of Light: What Are Photons?, 66640E (31 August 2007); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.734807
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