Abstract

If the photon-number distribution of a thermal state is shifted by N photons toward larger photon numbers, the new state is called a shifted thermal state, which is shown to be as nonclassical as possible. The photon-number distribution of the so-called mazer derived recently by Scully et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 76, 4144 (1996)] can be viewed as a partially shifted thermal state, which is a mixture of the thermal and the shifted thermal states in the proportion of 1-f to f. It is shown that such a mixture is always a nonclassical state. A measure of how nonclassical the mixture is as a function of f is determined numerically for various values of N.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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