We consider the van der Waals force involving excited atoms in general environments, constituted by magnetodielectric bodies. We develop a dynamical approach studying the dynamics of the atoms and the field, mutually coupled. When only one atom is excited, our dynamical theory suggests that for large distances the van der Waals force acting on the ground-state atom is monotonic, while the force acting in the excited atom is spatially oscillating. We show how this latter force can be related to the known oscillating Casimir-Polder force on an excited atom near a (ground-state) body. Our force also reveals a population-induced dynamics: for times much larger that the atomic lifetime the atoms will decay to their ground states leading to the van der Waals interaction between ground-state atoms.
|Numero di pagine||10|
|Rivista||Physical Review A|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2016|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
Passante, R., Rizzuto, L., Barcellona, P., Rizzuto, L., Passante, R., & Buhmann, S. Y. (2016). Van der Waals interactions between excited atoms in generic environments. Physical Review A, 94, 012705-1-012705-10.