Nonadditivity of Optical and Casimir-Polder Potentials
Sebastian Fuchs, Robert Bennett, Roman V. Krems, Stefan Yoshi Buhmann
Physical Review Letters
An atom irradiated by an off-resonant laser field near a surface is expected to experience the sum of two fundamental potentials, the optical potential of the laser field and the Casimir--Polder potential of the surface. Here, we report a new non-additive potential, namely the laser-induced Casimir--Polder potential, which arises from a correlated coupling of the atom with both the laser and the quantum vacuum. We apply this result to an experimentally realizable scenario of an atomic mirror
... h an evanescent laser beam leaking out of a surface. We show that the non-additive term is significant for realistic experimental parameters, transforming potential barriers into potential wells, which can be used to trap atoms near surfaces.