Research, Science and Technology

Subradiance via Entanglement in Atoms with Several Independent Decay Channels – Laurin Ostermann

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Laurin Ostermann (1), Martin Hebenstreit (1), Barbara Kraus (1), Helmut Ritsch (1)
(1) Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Innsbruck, Technikerstraße 21, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria

Spontaneous emission of atoms in free space is modified by the presence of other atoms in close vicinity inducing collective super- and subradiance. For two nearby atoms with a single decay channel the entangled antisymmetric superposition state of the two single excited states will not decay spontaneously. No such excited two-atom dark state exists, if the excited state has two independent optical decay channels of different frequencies or polarizations. However, we show that for an excited atomic state with N−1 independent spontaneous decay channels one can find a highly entangled N-particle dark state, which completely decouples from the vacuum radiation field. It does not decay spontaneously, nor will it absorb resonant laser light. Mathematically, we see that this state is the only such state orthogonal to the subspace spanned by the atomic ground states. Moreover, by means of generic numerical examples we demonstrate that the subradiant behavior largely survives at finite atomic distances including dipole-dipole interactions.


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