AuthorSlosser, John Jason.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation considers both a lossless and a dissipative micromaser in which a monoenergetic beam of two-level atoms in a coherent superposition of their upper and lower states is injected inside a single mode, high-Q cavity. In the lossless case, we find that under appropriate conditions a field initially in a mixed state will evolve to previously unknown pure states, which we call the tangent and cotangent states. In various limits, these states exhibit interesting properties such as sub-Poissonian photon statistics and squeezing, and most importantly they acquire the characteristics of "macroscopic" quantum superpositions. When dissipation of the cavity mode is incorporated into the model, we find that although the field no longer evolves to a pure state, the mixed steady-state field may still retain the properties of a macroscopic superposition under experimentally realizable damping rates. We then evaluate the experimental conditions necessary for the preparation and detection of such macroscopic superpositions.