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Many-Body Signatures of Collective Decay in Atomic Chains

TitleMany-Body Signatures of Collective Decay in Atomic Chains
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsS. J. Masson, I. Ferrier-Barbut, L. A. Orozco, A. Browaeys, and A. Asenjo-Garcia
JournalPhys. Rev. Lett.

Fully inverted atoms placed at exactly the same location synchronize as they deexcite, and light is emitted in a burst (known as “Dicke's superradiance”). We investigate the role of (mite interatomic separation on correlated decay in mesoscopic chains and provide an understanding in terms of collective jump operators. We show that the superradiant burst survives at small distances, despite Hamiltonian dipole-dipole interactions. However, for larger separations, competition between different jump operators leads to dephasing, suppressing superradiance. Collective effects are still significant for arrays with lattice constants of the order of a wavelength, and lead to a photon emission rate that decays nonexponentially in time. We calculate the two-photon correlation function and demonstrate that emission is correlated and directional, as well as sensitive to small changes in the interatomic distance. These features can be measured in current experimental setups, and are robust to realistic imperfections.