Exact electrodynamics versus standard optics for a slab of cold dense gas

Javanainen, Juha and Ruostekoski, Janne and Li, Yi and Yoo, Sung-Mi (2017) Exact electrodynamics versus standard optics for a slab of cold dense gas. Physical review a, 96 (9): 033835. ISSN 1050-2947

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We study light propagation through a slab of cold gas using both the standard electrodynamics of polarizable media, and massive atom-by-atom simulations of the electrodynamics. The main finding is that the predictions from the two methods may differ qualitatively when the density of the atomic sample $ and the wavenumber of resonant light $k$ satisfy $rho k^-3gtrsim 1$. The reason is that the standard electrodynamics is a mean-field theory, whereas for sufficiently strong light-mediated dipole-dipole interactions the atomic sample becomes correlated. The deviations from mean-field theory appear to scale with the parameter $rho k^-3$, and we demonstrate noticeable effects already at $rho k^-3 simeq 10^-2$. In dilute gases and in gases with an added inhomogeneous broadening the simulations show shifts of the resonance lines in qualitative agreement with the predicted Lorentz-Lorenz shift and "cooperative Lamb shift", but the quantitative agreement is unsatisfactory. Our interpretation is that the microscopic basis for the local-field corrections in electrodynamics is not fully understood.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Physical review a
Additional Information:
© 2017 American Physical Society
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? physics.optics, physics.atom-phatomic and molecular physics, and optics ??
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Deposited On:
26 Feb 2018 16:40
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 17:34