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Assuming the question is about creating superpositions of eigenstates of the atomic Hamiltonian, one can do this by shining coherent electromagnetic radiation at the frequency $\omega$, such that $E = \hbar \omega$ is the energy difference between the two atomic states. This causes Rabi oscillations, so that the quantum state oscillates between the ground ...


In fact there is a difference, since the field per photon is stronger inside a cavity than in free space. The first treatment I know of is that of Jaynes and Cummings, Proceedings of the IEEE, Vol 51, p 89 (1963). This leads to an enhanced rate of spontaneous emission inside the cavity, called 'cavity enhancement', which is considered the cornerstone of ...

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