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Families of Bose rays in quantum optics

Mukunda, N and Sudarshan, ECG and Simon, R (1988) Families of Bose rays in quantum optics. In: Foundations of Physics, 18 (3). 277-306.

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Official URL: http://rd.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01891493#


In the geometrical optics limit, wave optics is described in terms of a bundle of rays. Similarly, classical particle trajectories appear in the "geometrical" $(h\to 0)$ limit of Schrödinger wave mechanics. The authors of this paper ask "Having known classical wave optics$\ldots$and wave mechanics, can the concept of rays of light be extended so as to provide an exact new language in which to describe all of wave optics, both classical and quantum, and not just its geometrical limit?" Their answer is affirmative. The framework for this development is a statistical description of wave optics using a hierarchy of $N$-point correlation functions. This description is recast into a language of generalized rays. $N$-fold joint distributions for these rays are developed using Weyl-Wigner-Moyal methods. This generalized ray picture is an exact transcription into the new language of some (but not all) of the information carried by a statistical wave field. In this new formulation, the Bose symmetry that results for indistinguishable quanta appears as a nonlocal correlation in the many-ray distribution function. This correlation corresponds to the positive distance correlation in an ideal Bose gas. Because the generalized ray picture is valid for both classical and quantum optics, the Bose correlation occurs in both cases.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Foundations of Physics
Publisher: Springer
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Springer.
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Centre for Theoretical Studies (Ceased to exist at the end of 2003)
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2004
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2012 05:40
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/969

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