Cavity Quantum Electrodynamics: Coherence in Context
Modern cavity quantum electrodynamics (cavity QED) illuminates the most fundamental aspects of coherence and decoherence in quantum mechanics. Experiments on atoms in cavities can be described by elementary models but reveal intriguing subtleties of the interplay of coherent dynamics with external couplings. Recent activity in this area has pioneered powerful new approaches to the study of quantum coherence and has fueled the growth of quantum information science. In years to come, the purview of cavity QED will continue to grow as researchers build on a rich infrastructure to attack some of the most pressing open questions in micro- and mesoscopic physics.