Spontaneous emission in a Fabry-Pérot cavity: The effects of atomic motion

M. Wilkens, Z. Bialynicka-Birula, P. Meystre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


We show that the spontaneous emission of a moving atom inside a cavity is modified by two different mechanisms. The first one is a Doppler-induced detuning of the cavity line that leads to observable changes in the spontaneous emission rate for atomic velocities in excess of a characteristic velocity vcav=c/Q, Q being the quality factor of the cavity. In addition, spatial mode effects can lead to a temporal modulation of the exponential decay rate. This modulation is observable for velocities that do not exceed another characteristic velocity vmod which is typically several orders of magnitude smaller than vcav.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-482
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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