A single trapped atom in front of an oscillating mirror

A.W. Glaetzle, K. Hammerer, A.J. Daley, R. Blatt, P. Zoller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate the Wigner-Weisskopf decay of a two-level atom in front of an oscillating mirror. This work builds on and extends previous theoretical and experimental studies of the effects of a static mirror on spontaneous decay and resonance fluorescence. The spontaneously emitted field is inherently non-stationary due to the time-dependent boundary conditions and in order to study its spectral distribution we employ the operational definition of the spectrum of non-stationary light due to the seminal work by Eberly and Wódkiewicz. We find a rich dependence of this spectrum as well as of the effective decay rates and level shifts on the mirror-atom distance and on the amplitude and frequency of the mirror's oscillations. The results presented here provide the basis for future studies of more complex setups, where the motion of the atom and/or the mirror are included as quantum degrees of freedom.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)758-765
Number of pages8
JournalOptics Communications
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010


  • decay rate
  • degrees of freedom
  • oscillating mirrors
  • resonance fluorescences
  • spectral distribution
  • spontaneous decay
  • two-level atom
  • Wigner-Weisskopf decay


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