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Coherence effects in vacuum-induced processes


Kiffner,  Martin
Division Prof. Dr. Christoph H. Keitel, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Kiffner, M. (2007). Coherence effects in vacuum-induced processes. PhD Thesis, Ruprecht-Karls Universität, Heidelberg.

Quantum interference and coherence effects in the interaction of atoms with the quantized electromagnetic field are investigated theoretically. A general master equation for the description of atom-field interactions is introduced. The interplay of the concepts of complementarity and interference in the time-energy domain are studied on the basis of the fluorescence light emitted by a single laser-driven atom, where the coherence of spontaneous processes gives rise to quantum interference in the spectrum of resonance fluorescence. The vacuum-induced dipole-dipole interaction in pairs of multi-level atoms is analyzed. It is shown that the interaction between orthogonal transition dipole moments of different atoms does not only in- fluence the system dynamics crucially, but implies that the few-level approximation in general cannot be applied to near-degenerate Zeeman sublevels of the atomic level scheme. Potential applications of dipole-dipole interacting multi-level atoms for the implementation of decoherence-free subspaces and the generation of entanglement between atomic states are examined. The generation of an entangled state of the radiation field with a macroscopic number of photons is discussed on the basis of a single-atom laser.