Radiation from an Atom Located in the Vicinity of Dielectric — Space-Time Analysis

  • Bozena Sobolewska
  • Jan Mostowski
Conference paper


We present here a new approach to the problem of atomic radiation in the vicinity of a dielectric layer. It is already well known that the presence of a dielectric can significantly alter the radiation properties of an atom. This fact manifests itself most dramatically when the atom is placed in a cavity. Then, both increasing and suppressing of the atomic lifetime have been theoretically predicted and observed.1 It appears that the presence of a single dielectric layer has also a strong influence on the behavior of the atom. Proper understanding of this phenomenon is crucial not only from the point of view of basic physical interest, but also for the cavity applications. Recently, Cook and Milonni2 proposed a dynamical, based on the Schrödinger equation, approach to the radiating atom. In their description the dielectric was reduced to an infinitely thin layer of atoms, and thus all effects of propagation of light inside this layer were neglected. As we will show, dynamical interaction of radiation with the dielectric strongly affects the resulting electromagnetic field on the both sides of the dielectric slab.


Rotate Wave Approximation Retarded Time Atomic Radiation Dielectric Slab Atomic Inversion 
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  1. 1.
    Y. Zhu, A. Lezama, TW. Mossbeig, and M. Lewenstein, “Vacuum-field dressed-state pumping;”Phys. Rev. Lett.61:1946 (1988), and references therein.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    R. J. Cook and P. W. Milonni, “Quantum theory of an atom near partially reflecting walls,”Phys. Rev. A35: 5081 (1987).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bozena Sobolewska
    • 1
  • Jan Mostowski
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PhysicsPolish Academy of SciencesWarszawaPoland

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