Intrinsic phase coherence of laser light
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We examine the phase relationships between different packets of a beam of light emitted from a cavity through a partially transmitting mirror. We find that the beam has a pronounced phase coherence even when the intracavity field has a completely indeterminate phase such as, for example, when it is in a pure photon number state. In this case, the phase coherence can be directly attributed to entanglement caused by the partially transmitting mirror and, even though the external light has phase coherence, it has no identifiable phase. Consequently there is no phase diffusion but there is diffusion of the phase difference between a packet and the intracavity field. Remarkably, we find that the phase coherence of the beam is almost independent of the intracavity state, provided this has a reasonably narrow number-state distribution about a large mean value.
Physical Review A
Copyright 2009 American Physical Society. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal link for access to the definitive, published version.