Wednesday, April 10, 2013

1304.2425 (François Impens et al.)

Dynamical and non-additive atomic van der Waals phases    [PDF]

François Impens, Claudio Ccapa Ttira, Paulo A. Maia Neto
We investigate dynamical corrections to the van der Waals phase induced by the non-unitary evolution of atomic waves propagating near a perfectly conducting surface. These corrections reflect the interplay between field retardation effects and the dynamics of the external atomic degrees of freedom. The dynamical atom-surface interaction phase shift contains both local and non-local contributions. We derive the local contributions and show that they are equivalent to coarse-graining the instantaneous van der Waals potential over the time scale corresponding to the round-trip travel time of light between atom and surface. We show that the non-local phase contributions are non-additive, and propose to use this property in a multiple-path van der Waals interferometer in order to isolate them from the standard (and much larger) quasi-static van der Waals phase.
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