Athanasios Laliotis

Laboratoire de Physique des Lasers, Université Paris 13, Sorbonne Paris-Cité

Spectroscopic measurements of the Casimir-Polder interaction



Spectroscopic measurements of the Casimir-Polder interaction
The Casimir-Polder interaction between atoms and surfaces is due to the modifications of the vacuum fluctuations by the presence of reflective boundary. It is of fundamental importance for understanding the electromagnetic and thermodynamic properties of matter. Casimir physics is also of interest for modern fundamental measurements of Non-Newtonian gravity and more applied sciences such as physical chemistry and nanotechnologies (MEMS/NEMS, atom chips).
Here, I will give an overview of the breakthroughs in Casimir-Polder experiments focusing on spectroscopic selective reflection measurements performed in Paris13. Contrary to most experimental techniques, spectroscopy allows the measurement of the Casimir-Polder effects for excited state atoms, which are particularly interesting because they can couple to surface waves (polaritons). This coupling has allowed the Paris13 group to demonstrate atom-surface repulsion [1] and more recently the control of Casimir-Polder interactions via temperature (thermal excitation of surface waves) [2].
I will also go through some recent spectroscopic experiments performed with atoms confined in nanostructures such as artificial opals (photonic crystals) or porous random media [3].
1.       H. Failache et al. ‘Resonant van der Waals Repulsion between Excited Cs Atoms and Sapphire Surface’ Phys. Rev. Lett., 83, 5467 (1999).
2.       A. Laliotis et al. ‘Casimir-Polder interactions in the presence of thermally excited surface waves’, Nat. Commun., 5, 4364 (2014).
3.       P. Ballin et al. ‘Three-dimensional confinement of vapor in nanostructures for sub-Doppler optical resolution’, Appl. Phys. Lett. 102, 231115 (2013); S. Villalba et al. ‘Rb optical resonance inside a random porous medium’, Opt. Lett. 38, 193 (2013);

Date: 12/5/2015
Time:12:00 (coffee & cookies will be served at 11:45)
Place:FORTH Seminar Room 1