Volume 110, Number 5, June 2015
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||The Physics of Elementary Particles and Fields|
|Published online||26 June 2015|
Casimir-Polder interaction from exact diagonalization and surface-induced state mixing
1 Quantum Optics and Laser Science, Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London - Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BW, UK
2 Physikalisches Institut, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg - Hermann-Herder-Str. 3, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany
3 Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg - Albertstr. 19, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany
4 Institut für Physik, Universität Rostock - Universitätsplatz 3, D-18051 Rostock, Germany
Received: 1 April 2015
Accepted: 5 June 2015
Dispersion forces have a sizeable effect on the energy levels of highly excited Rydberg atoms when brought close to material surfaces. Rydberg atoms experience energy shifts in the GHz range at micrometer distances, suggestive of considerable state admixture. We show that despite the non-applicability of perturbation theory for Rydberg atoms near a surface, the energy shift due to the dispersion interaction can be obtained from an exact diagonalization of the interaction Hamiltonian by finding the zeros of the Pick function. Moreover, we show that contrary to intuition from single-mode approaches, surface-induced state mixing is generally suppressed even for large interaction energies. We give a tailored example where mixing is observable despite this effect.
PACS: 12.20.-m – Quantum electrodynamics / 42.50.Nn – Quantum optical phenomena in absorbing, amplifying, dispersive and conducting media; cooperative phenomena in quantum optical systems / 32.80.Ee – Rydberg states
© EPLA, 2015
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