Photon counting statistics of a microwave cavity

Fredrik Brange*, Paul Menczel, Christian Flindt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
157 Downloads (Pure)


The development of microwave photon detectors is paving the way for a wide range of quantum technologies and fundamental discoveries involving single photons. Here, we investigate the photon emission from a microwave cavity and find that distribution of photon waiting times contains information about few-photon processes, which cannot easily be extracted from standard correlation measurements. The factorial cumulants of the photon counting statistics are positive at all times, which may be intimately linked with the bosonic quantum nature of the photons. We obtain a simple expression for the rare fluctuations of the photon current, which is helpful in understanding earlier results on heat-transport statistics and measurements of work distributions. Under nonequilibrium conditions, where a small temperature gradient drives a heat current through the cavity, we formulate a fluctuation-dissipation relation for the heat noise spectra. Our work suggests a number of experiments for the near future and it offers theoretical questions for further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number085418
Pages (from-to)1-14
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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