Theory of the linear polarizability of a two-level atom

Rodney Loudon, Stephen M. Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The polarizability of a two-level atom in the presence of radiative damping alone is derived by a Green function calculation. The rotating-wave approximation is not made, either in the interaction of the atom with the incident light or in its interaction with the scattered optical field. In contrast to previous work, the derivation takes account of the modification of the system ground state brought about by the non-rotating-wave part of the latter interaction. The final expression satisfies the optical theorem in addition to the other general requirements on the polarizability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S555-S563
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2006


  • polarizability
  • green function
  • optical theorem


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