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Title:  Quantum Optics and Multiple Scattering in Dielectrics
Author:  Martijn Wubs
As Contributor:   (not claimed)
Type: Ph.D.
Field: Physics
  • Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics - Theory
Approach: Theoretical
Degree granting institution:  University of Amsterdam
Supervisor(s): Prof. dr. Ad Lagendijk. Co-supervisor: Dr. L.G. Suttorp
Defense date:  2003-06-11


Outline of the thesis: Chapter 1 is an Introduction. In chapters 2 and 3, it is shown how a layered dielectric can be modelled as a crystal of infinitely thin planes. Multiple-scattering theory is used to calculate the propagating and guided modes of this finite one-dimensional photonic crystal. The formalism allows a relatively easy calculation of the Green function of such a structure. It is studied how the spontaneous-emission rate of a radiating atom depends on the atomic position and dipole orientation. The subject of chapter 4 is the quantum optical description of light in inhomogeneous dielectrics, and the interaction of guest atoms with light. Starting from a minimal-coupling Lagrangian, a Hamiltonian is derived with multipolar interaction between light and the guest atoms. Special attention is paid to the derivation of Maxwell’s equations after choosing a suitable gauge in which all (static and retarded) interactions between atoms are mediated by the electromagnetic field. Single-atom decay rates change in the presence of a dielectric, but also multi-atom processes such as superradiance will be modified. This is the subject of chapter 5. The strength of the multiple-scattering formalism lies in the fact that results can readily be generalized to more than one guest atom. This is shown in the canonical example of two-atom superradiance in an inhomogeneous dielectric. Finally, in chapter 6, the effects of material dispersion and absorption on spontaneous-emission rates in a homogeneous dielectric are considered. In a damped-polariton model for the dielectric, light is coupled to a material resonance, which in turn is coupled to a continuum into which electromagnetic energy can dissipate. The resulting complex dielectric function satisfies the Kramers-Kronig relations, and the form of the Maxwell field operators justifies more phenomenological approaches. As an application, we study time-dependent spontaneous-emission rates near material resonances, where the optical density of states changes rapidly.

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