acta physica slovaca

Acta Physica Slovaca 58, No.5, 675-809 (2008) (134 pages)

Macroscopic Quantum Electrodynamics - Concepts and Applications

Stefan Scheel1 and Stefan Yoshi Buhmann2
    1 Quantum Optics and Laser Science, Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London,
    2 Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2AZ, United Kingdom

Full text: ::pdf :: (Received 9 October 2008, accepted 21 October 2008)

Abstract: In this article, we review the principles of macroscopic quantum electrodynamics and discuss a variety of applications of this theory to medium-assisted atom-field coupling and dispersion forces. The theory generalises the standard mode expansion of the electromagnetic fields in free space to allow for the presence of absorbing bodies. We show that macroscopic quantum electrodynamics provides the link between isolated atomic systems and magnetoelectric bodies, and serves as an important tool for the understanding of surface-assisted atomic relaxation effects and the intimately connected position-dependent energy shifts which give rise to Casimir–Polder and van der Waals forces.

PACS: 42.50.Nn, 42.50.Ct, 34.35.+a, 12.20.-m
Keywords: Macroscopic quantum electrodynamics, Van der Waals forces, Casimir forces, Spontaneous decay, Cavity QED, Atom-surface interactions, Purcell effect, Spin-flip rates, Molecular heating, Input-output relations
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