Spontaneous emission in confined space according to stochastic electrodynamics
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Modeling an atomic excited state as a simple charged dipole oscillator immersed in a random (zero-point) radiation, we discuss the effects of two metallic plates on the properties of a microscopic system. The spectral distribution of the zero-point electromagnetic field, characteristic of stochastic electrodynamics, and the rate of emission of the oscillator are modified by the boundaries of the cavity. As a result, the lifetime of the oscillator excited states are different from the free-space values. A comparison with recent experimental results [W. Jhe et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 58, 666 (1987)] exhibiting suppression of spontaneous decay of excited Cs atoms shows a good agreement with our simplified model calculation.
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