We establish an approximate equivalence between a generalised quantum Rabi model and its nth order counterparts, where spin-boson interactions are nonlinear as they comprise a simultaneous exchange of n bosonic excitations. Although there exists no unitary transformation between these models, we demonstrate their equivalence to a good approximation in a wide range of parameters. This shows that nonlinear spin-boson couplings, i.e., nth order quantum Rabi models, are accessible to quantum systems with only linear coupling between boson and spin modes by simply adding spin rotations and after an appropriate transformation. Furthermore, our result prompts novel approximate analytical solutions to the dynamics of the quantum Rabi model in the ultrastrong coupling regime improving previous approaches.
quantum mechanics; single photons and quantum effects