Radiation Damping in Atomic Photonic Crystals

S. A. R. Horsley*, M. Artoni, G. C. La Rocca

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The force exerted on a material by an incident beam of light is dependent upon the material's velocity in the laboratory frame of reference. This velocity dependence is known to be difficult to measure, as it is proportional to the incident optical power multiplied by the ratio of the material velocity to the speed of light. Here we show that this typically tiny effect is greatly amplified in multilayer systems composed of resonantly absorbing atoms exhibiting ultranarrow photonic band gaps. The amplification effect for optically trapped Rb-87 is shown to be as much as 3 orders of magnitude greater than for conventional photonic-band-gap materials. For a specific pulsed regime, damping remains observable without destroying the system and significant for material velocities of a few ms(-1).

Original languageEnglish
Article number043602
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2011




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