Resonance Fluorescence

Resonance Fluorescence is the incoherent light emission (fluorescence) from a system that is being excited at the same frequency than the one at which it naturally emits (resonance).

It is a fundamental problem of great interest to us, for which we are trying to establish a comprehensive timeline. We have been particularly interested in the following aspects of the problem:

Simplest as possible, not simpler

The problem is particularly attractive because it is probably the simplest possible, yet highly nontrivial, quantum-mechanical problem, as it can be described with a two-level system. In the words of Kimble and Mandel[1]:

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Most interesting phenomenon

One of the more interesting developments in recent years is the possibility of observing the fluorescent light emitted by a single confined atomic ion.



Here are how various people have described the process:

The phenomenon of resonance fluorescence arises with the illumination of an atomic dipole transition by resonant radiation and appears as scattering from the incident beam into other modes of the radiation field.


  1. Theory of resonance fluorescence. H. J. Kimble and L. Mandel in Phys. Rev. A 13:2123 (1976).