A beyond mean-field study of the Tavis-Cummings (TC) model is developed. This is the simplest model for describing the interaction of a radiation field with a system composed by an array of two-level atoms. The first correction to the mean-field ground state energy and the energy gap between the ground and the first excited states are computed. For the ground-state energy our result improves the mean-field calculation, as expected. For the gap, that cannot be calculated at mean-field level, a drop down to zero is obtained at the critical point where the system undergoes a second-order quantum phase transition.

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