Interaction of an atom with layered dielectrics

Eberlein, Claudia and Zietal, Robert (2010) Interaction of an atom with layered dielectrics. Physical Review A, 82 (6). ISSN 1050-2947

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We determine the energy-level shift experienced by a neutral atom due the quantum electromagnetic interaction with a layered dielectric body. We use the technique of normal-mode expansion to quantize the electromagnetic field in the presence of a layered, nondispersive, and nonabsorptive dielectric. We explicitly calculate the equal-time commutation relations between the electric field and vector potential operators. We show that the commutator can be expressed in terms of a generalized transverse d function and that this is a consequence of using the generalized Coulomb gauge to quantize the electromagnetic field. These mathematical tools turn out to be very helpful in the calculation of the energy-level shift of the atom, which can be in its ground state or excited. The results for the shift are then analyzed asymptotically in various regions of the systems parameter space, with a view to providing quick estimates of the influence of a single dielectric layer on the Casimir-Polder interaction between an atom and a dielectric half space. We also investigate the impact of resonances between the wavelength of the atomic transition and the thickness of the top layer.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Depositing User: Claudia Eberlein
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:08
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2019 01:10

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