Nonsimultaneous Spontaneous Emission from an Atomic Wavepacket
We discuss the formulation and solution of the problem of nonsimultaneous spontaneous emission from atomic wavepackets. This work is motivated by the experiment of the group of J. Baudon1. In their experiment an atomic hydrogen wavepacket consisting of two spatially separated peaks had been prepared initially in the metastable 2s 1/2 state before entering a spatial region with an electric field. The Stark mixing due to the electric field created 2p 1/2 which subsequently led to spontaneous emission of the Lyman-α photon. Since the atom was moving, different parts of the wavepacket were coupled to the field at different moments of time and thus spontaneous decay was “turned on” at different points nonsimultaneously.