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Quantum local-field corrections and spontaneous decay

Scheel, Stefan and Knöll, Ludwig and Welsch, Dirk-Gunnar and Barnett, Stephen M. (1999) Quantum local-field corrections and spontaneous decay. Physical Review A, 60 (2). 1590 -1597. ISSN 1094-1622

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Abstract

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.