We investigate cooperative effects in energy relaxation and energy transfer for N atoms in a thermal radiation field with superradiance master equations as well as a closed set of coupled moment equations. Both spatially large and spatially small systems are considered. For small systems nonlinear rate equations for the energy are related to the moment equations. Symmetry of the small system to interchanging atoms is used to incorporate off-diagonal solutions of the superradiance master equation in expressions for the probability of the transfer of energy from one group of atoms to another. The long time excitation probability for initially unexcited atoms is large and strongly correlated. Cooperative processes in a large system which fall off with the distance between a cooperating pair of atoms include energy loss and transfer terms in the master equation. The energy transfer is oscillatory in time. Energy relaxation is shown by numerical solution to become cooperative in a very sudden manner as the scale of the atomic system is decreased through the resonant wavelength.
|Number of pages||47|
|Journal||Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications|
|State||Published - 1976|