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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 20, Iss. 28 — Dec. 31, 2012
  • pp: 29634–29645

Cascaded collective decay in regular arrays of cold trapped atoms

Laurin Ostermann, Hashem Zoubi, and Helmut Ritsch  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue 28, pp. 29634-29645 (2012)

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Energy and lifetime of collective optical excitations in regular arrays of atoms and molecules are significantly influenced by dipole-dipole interaction. While the dynamics of closely positioned atoms can be approximated well by the Dicke superradiance model, the situation of finite regular configurations is hard to access analytically. Most treatments use an exciton based description limited to the lowest excitation manifold. We present a general approach studying the complete decay cascade of a finite regular array of atoms from the fully inverted to the ground state. We explicitly calculate all energy shifts and decay rates for two generic cases of a three-atom linear chain and an equilateral triangle. In numerical calculations we show that despite fairly weak dipole-dipole interactions, collective vacuum coupling allows for superradiant emission as well as subradiant states in larger arrays through multi-particle interference. This induces extra dephasing and modified decay as important limitations for Ramsey experiments in lattice atomic clock setups as well as for the gain and frequency stability of superradiant lasers.

© 2012 OSA

OCIS Codes
(020.7010) Atomic and molecular physics : Laser trapping
(140.6630) Lasers and laser optics : Superradiance, superfluorescence
(270.0270) Quantum optics : Quantum optics

ToC Category:
Atomic and Molecular Physics

Original Manuscript: October 4, 2012
Revised Manuscript: November 28, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: November 28, 2012
Published: December 20, 2012

Laurin Ostermann, Hashem Zoubi, and Helmut Ritsch, "Cascaded collective decay in regular arrays of cold trapped atoms," Opt. Express 20, 29634-29645 (2012)

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