Single-photon superradiance and radiation trapping by atomic shells Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016 American Physical Society. The collective nature of light emission by atomic ensembles yields fascinating effects such as superradiance and radiation trapping even at the single-photon level. Light emission is influenced by virtual transitions and the collective Lamb shift which yields peculiar features in temporal evolution of the atomic system. We study how two-dimensional atomic structures collectively emit a single photon. Namely, we consider spherical, cylindrical, and spheroidal shells with two-level atoms continuously distributed on the shell surface and find exact analytical solutions for eigenstates of such systems and their collective decay rates and frequency shifts. We identify states which undergo superradiant decay and states which are trapped and investigate how size and shape of the shell affects collective light emission. Our findings could be useful for quantum information storage and the design of optical switches.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Svidzinsky, A. A., Li, F. u., Li, H., Zhang, X., Ooi, C., & Scully, M. O.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Svidzinsky, Anatoly A||Li, Fu||Li, Hongyuan||Zhang, Xiwen||Ooi, CH Raymond||Scully, Marlan O

publication date

  • April 2016