Coherent Radiation by a Spherical Medium of Resonant Atoms
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CitationPrasad, Sudhakar, and Roy J. Glauber. 2010. Coherent radiation by a spherical medium of resonant atoms. Physical Review A 82(6): 063805.
AbstractRadiation by the atoms of a resonant medium is a cooperative process in which the medium participates as a whole. In two previous papers we treated this problem for the case of a medium having slab geometry, which, under plane-wave excitation, supports coherent waves that propagate in one dimension. We extend the treatment here to the three-dimensional problem, focusing principally on the case of spherical geometry. By regarding the radiation field as a superposition of electric and magnetic multipole fields of different orders, we express it in terms of suitably defined scalar fields. The latter fields possess a sequence of exponentially decaying eigenmodes corresponding to each multipole order. We consider several examples of spherically symmetric initial excitations of a sphere. Small uniformly excited spheres, we find, tend to radiate superradiantly, while the radiation from a large sphere with an initially excited inner core exhibits temporal oscillations that result from the participation of a large number of coherently excited amplitudes in different modes. The frequency spectrum of the emitted radiation possesses a rich structure, including a frequency gap for large spheres and sharply defined and closely spaced peaks caused by the small frequency shifts and even smaller decay rates characteristic of the majority of eigenmodes.
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