According to quantum electrodynamics, the exchange of virtual photons in a system of identical quantum emitters causes a shift of its energy levels. Such shifts, known as cooperative Lamb shifts, have been studied mostly in the near-field regime. However, the resonant electromagnetic interaction persists also at large distances, providing coherent coupling between distant atoms. Here, we report a direct spectroscopic observation of the cooperative Lamb shift of an optical electric-dipole transition in an array of Sr+ ions suspended in a Paul trap at inter-ion separations much larger than the resonance wavelength. By controlling the precise positions of the ions, we studied the far-field resonant coupling in chains of up to eight ions, extending to a length of 40μm. This method provides a novel tool for experimental exploration of cooperative emission phenomena in extended mesoscopic atomic arrays.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)