Retardation effects in spectroscopic measurements of the Casimir-Polder interaction
Carvalho, J. C. de Aquino
Date of Issue2018
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
Spectroscopy is a unique experimental tool for measuring the fundamental Casimir-Polder interaction between excited-state atoms, or other polarizable quantum objects, and a macroscopic surface. Spectroscopic measurements probe atoms at nanometric distances away from the surface where QED retardation is usually negligible and the atom-surface interaction is proportional to the inverse cube of the separation distance, otherwise known as the van der Waals regime. Here we focus on selective reflection, one of the main spectroscopic probes of Casimir-Polder interactions. We calculate selective reflection spectra using the full, distance dependent, Casimir-Polder energy shift and linewidth. We demonstrate that retardation can have significant effects, in particular for experiments with low-lying energy states. We also show that the effective probing depth of selective reflection spectroscopy depends on the transition linewidth. Our analysis allows us to calculate selective reflection spectra with composite surfaces, such as metasurfaces, dielectric stacks, or even bidimensional materials.
Physical Review A
© 2018 American Physical Society. This paper was published in Physical Review A and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of American Physical Society. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevA.97.023806]. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.