Quantum local-field corrections and spontaneous decay

Stefan Scheel, Ludwig Knöll, Dirk-Gunnar Welsch, Stephen M. Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)
105 Downloads (Pure)


A recently developed scheme [S. Scheel, L. Knöll, and D.-G. Welsch, Phys. Rev. A 58, 700 (1998)] for quantizing the macroscopic electromagnetic field in linear dispersive and absorbing dielectrics satisfying the Kramers-Kronig relations is used to derive the quantum local-field correction for the standard virtual-sphere-cavity model. The electric and magnetic local-field operators are shown to become approximately consistent with QED only if the polarization noise is fully taken into account. It is shown that the polarization fluctuations in the local field can dramatically change the spontaneous decay rate, compared with the familiar result obtained from the classical local-field correction. In particular, the spontaneous emission rate strongly depends on the radius of the local-field virtual cavity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1590 -1597
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1999


  • macroscopic electromagnetics
  • dielectrics
  • virtual-sphere-cavity model
  • polarization
  • spontaneous decay
  • quantum


Dive into the research topics of 'Quantum local-field corrections and spontaneous decay'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this