- Transient QED effects in absorbing dielectrics
- Physical Review A
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- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Theoretical Physics Amsterdam (ITFA)
Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute (WZI)
The spontaneous emission rate of a radiating atom reaches its time-independent quilibrium value after an initial transient regime. In this paper we consider the associated relaxation effects of the spontaneous decay rate of atoms in dispersive and absorbing dielectric media for atomic transition frequencies near material resonances. A quantum mechanical description of such media is furnished by a damped-polariton model, in which absorption is taken into account through coupling to a bath. We show how all field and matter operators in this theory can be expressed in terms of the bath operators at an initial time. The consistency of these solutions for the field and matter operators are found to depend on the validity of certain velocity sum rules. The transient effects in the spontaneous decay rate are studied with the help of several specific models for the dielectric constant, which are shown to follow from the general theory by adopting particular forms of the bath coupling constant.
- © 1994 American Physical Society
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