Photodetection probability in quantum systems with arbitrarily strong light-matter interaction
Journal article, 2018
Cavity-QED systems have recently reached a regime where the light-matter interaction strength amounts to a non-negligible fraction of the resonance frequencies of the bare subsystems. In this regime, it is known that the usual normal-order correlation functions for the cavity-photon operators fail to describe both the rate and the statistics of emitted photons. Following Glauber's original approach, we derive a simple and general quantum theory of photodetection, valid for arbitrary lightmatter interaction strengths. Our derivation uses Fermi's golden rule, together with an expansion of system operators in the eigenbasis of the interacting light-matter system, to arrive at the correct photodetection probabilities. We consider both narrow-and wide-band photodetectors. Our description is also valid for point-like detectors placed inside the optical cavity. As an application, we propose a gedanken experiment confirming the virtual nature of the bare excitations that enrich the ground state of the quantum Rabi model.