Spatial Pauli blocking of spontaneous emission in optical lattices

R. M. Sandner, M. Müller, A. J. Daley, P. Zoller

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Spontaneous emission by an excited fermionic atom can be suppressed due to the Pauli exclusion principle if the relevant final states after the decay are already occupied by identical atoms in the ground state. Here we discuss a setup where a single atom is prepared in the first excited state on a single site of an optical lattice under conditions of very tight trapping. We investigate these phenomena in the context of two experimental realizations: (1) with alkali-metal atoms, where the decay rate of the excited state is large, and (2) with alkaline-earth-metal-like atoms, where the decay rate from metastable states can be tuned in experiments. This phenomenon has potential applications towards reservoir engineering and dissipative many-body state preparation in an optical lattice. 

Original languageEnglish
Article number043825
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2011


  • spontaneous emission
  • optical lattices
  • excited fermionic atoms
  • reservoir engineering


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