Alejandro G´omez Espinosa
∗
April 3, 2013
1) Magnitude of the zeropoint energy density.
a) Show that the total density of zeropoint energy (i.e., energy per unit volume) associated with the
electromagnetic ﬁeld in vacuum is
2
L
3
1
2
¯hω =
¯hω
4
c
8π
2
c
3
(1)
where the sum is restricted only to modes with ω less than some cutoﬀ ω
c
.
To calculate the total density, we can use the density of states instead of the sum:
2
L
3
k
1
2
¯hω =
¯h
L
3
_
ωg(ω)dω
=
¯h
L
3
_
ω
d
3
qd
3
p
h
3
=
¯h
h
3
L
3
L
3
_
ωd
3
p
=
¯h
h
3
_
ω4πp
2
dp =
¯h
h
3
_
ω4πp
2
dp
since p =
E
c
=
¯hω
c
; dp =
¯h
c
dω
=
4π¯h
h
3
_
ω
_
¯hω
c
_
2
¯h
c
dω
=
4π¯h
4
h
3
c
3
_
ωc
0
ω
3
dω
=
4π¯h
4
(2π)
3
¯h
3
c
3
ω
4
c
4
=
¯hω
4
c
8π
2
c
3
b) Plugging in numbers, estimate the zeropoint EM energy stored in one cubic centimeter, taking
the cutoﬀ to be 10 keV (typical Xrays).
Let us calculate ω
c
:
ω
c
=
E
¯h
=
10keV
4.135 ×10
−15
eV s
= 2.41 ×10
18
s
−1
U =
¯hω
4
c
L
3
8π
2
c
3
=
1.054 ×10
−34
Js(2.41 ×10
18
s
−1
)
4
(0.01m)
3
8π
2
(3 ×10
9
ms
−1
)
3
= 1.66 ×10
10
J
∗
gomez@physics.rutgers.edu
1
2) Refer to the ”Summary of Electrodynamics (Classical and Quantum)” handout. Please follow the
conventions given there, and not those that you might ﬁnd in some other textbook. In particular, we
have ´ e
kλ
= ´ e
−kλ
, Q∗
kλ
= Q
−kλ
and P∗
kλ
= P
−kλ
.
a) Fill in the questions marks on p.2. That is, ﬁnd expressions for H
(2)
int
analogous to the ones for
H
(1)
int
in both the classical and quantum case.
For the classical Hamiltonian H
(2)
int
, we need to use:
A(r, t) =
√
4πc
2
kλ
Q
kλ
(t)´ e
kλ
1
√
Ω
e
ik·r
(2)
Then,
H
(2)
int
=
q
2
2mc
2
i
A
2
i
=
q
2
2mc
2
i
_
√
4πc
2
kλ
Q
kλ
(t)´ e
kλ
1
√
Ω
e
ik·r
_
2
=
2πq
2
mΩ
i
kλ
k
λ
Q
kλ
(t)Q
k
λ
(t)´ e
kλ
· ´ e
kλ
e
i(k−k
)·r
(3)
Using the quantization of the ﬁeld amplitudes:
Q
kλ
=
¸
¯h
2ω
k
(a
kλ
+ a
†
−kλ
) (4)
Therefore,
H
(2)
int
=
πq
2
¯h
2
mΩω
k
i
kλ
k
λ
(a
kλ
+ a
†
−kλ
)(a
k
λ
+ a
†
−k
λ
)´ e
kλ
· ´ e
kλ
e
i(k−k
)·r
(5)
b) Show that the Zeeman term H
(mag)
int
= −γB(r
i
) · S
i
in the particleﬁeld interaction can be ex
pressed as
H
(mag)
int
= −iγ
_
2π¯hc
2
Ω
kλ
ω
−1/2
k
(a
kλ
+ a
†
−kλ
)e
ik·r
i
(k × ´ e
kλ
) · S
i
(6)
Using B = ∇×A, (2) and (4), we can found:
H
(mag)
int
= −γB· S
i
= −γ(∇×A) · S
i
= −γ
_
∇×
√
4πc
2
kλ
Q
kλ
(t)´ e
kλ
1
√
Ω
e
ik·r
_
· S
i
= −γ
_
∇×
√
4πc
2
kλ
¸
¯h
2ω
k
(a
kλ
+ a
†
−kλ
)´ e
kλ
1
√
Ω
e
ik·r
_
· S
i
= −γ
_
2πc
2
¯h
Ω
_
∇×
kλ
1
√
ω
k
(a
kλ
+ a
†
−kλ
)´ e
kλ
e
ik·r
_
· S
i
= −iγ
_
2πc
2
¯h
Ω
kλ
1
√
ω
k
(a
kλ
+ a
†
−kλ
)e
ik·r
(k × ´ e
kλ
) · S
i
2
c) Use the result of part (b) to compute the expression for the spontaneous decay rate of an atom
via the Zeeman magneticdipole interaction. (That is, ignore the orbital contribution to the
magnetic dipole interaction, and use the leading approximation to e
ik·r
i
.) Express your result
in a way similar to the electricdipole formula
Γ
spont
=
4ω
4
fi
3¯hc
3
d
fi

2
(7)
but with a diﬀerent prefactor and with the electronspin matrix element S
fi
replacing the electric
dipole one d
fi
. (Please eliminate k in favor of ω
fi
.)
The spontaneous decay rate is given by:
Γ =
2π
¯h
αV β
2
δ(E
α
−E
β
) (8)
First, the delta function can be written as:
δ(E
α
−E
β
) = (E
f
−E
i
) ±¯hω
k
= E
fi
±¯hω
k
Then, let us calculate the potential V using (6):
V
αβ
= f, ....(n
kλ
±1)...
_
−iγ
_
2π¯hc
2
Ω
k
λ
ω
−1/2
k
(a
kλ
+ a
†
−kλ
)e
ik·r
i
(k × ´ e
kλ
) · S
i
_
i, ..., n
kλ
...
= −iγ
_
2π¯hc
2
Ω
k
λ
ω
−1/2
k
....(n
kλ
±1)...(a
kλ
+ a
†
−kλ
)i, ..., n
kλ
...fe
ik·r
i
(k × ´ e
kλ
) · S
i
i
if e
ik·r
≈ 1 −k · r + ...
= −iγ
_
2π¯hc
2
Ω
k
λ
ω
−1/2
k
....(n
kλ
±1)...(a
kλ
+ a
†
−kλ
)i, ..., n
kλ
...f(k × ´ e
kλ
) · S
i
i
= −iγ
_
2π¯hc
2
Ω
k
λ
ω
−1/2
k
....(n
kλ
±1)...(a
kλ
+ a
†
−kλ
)i, ..., n
kλ
...(k × ´ e
kλ
)f·S
i
i
= −iγ
_
2π¯hc
2
Ω
k
λ
ω
−1/2
k
....(n
kλ
±1)...(a
kλ
+ a
†
−kλ
)i, ..., n
kλ
...(k × ´ e
kλ
)d
fi
= −iγ
_
2π¯hc
2
Ω
k
λ
ω
−1/2
k
_
δ
k
,k
δ
λ
λ
√
n
kλ
+ 1
δ
k
,k
δ
λ
λ
√
n
kλ
_
(k × ´ e
kλ
)d
fi
= −iγ
_
2π¯hc
2
Ω
ω
−1/2
k
_√
n
kλ
+ 1
√
n
kλ
_
(k × ´ e
kλ
)d
fi
Plugging this results into (8):
Γ =
2π
¯h
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
−iγ
_
2π¯hc
2
Ω
ω
−1/2
k
_√
n
kλ
+ 1
√
n
kλ
_
(k × ´ e
kλ
)d
fi
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
2
δ(E
fi
±¯hω
k
)
=
4π
4
γ
2
c
2
Ωω
k
_
n
kλ
+ 1
n
kλ
_
(k × ´ e
kλ
)d
fi

2
δ(E
fi
±¯hω
k
)
3
In the spontaneous emission n
kλ
= 0, using the density of states ρ(E)i =
L
3
ω
2
π
2
¯hc
3
, therefore:
Γ
spont
=
4π
4
γ
2
c
2
Ωω
k
(k × ´ e
kλ
)d
fi

2
L
3
ω
2
π
2
¯hc
3
=
8π
2
γ
2
ω
3¯hc
d
fi

2
(9)
3) A couple of weeks ago we considered the interaction of a quantized particle system (e.g., an atom) with
a classical ”external” electromagnetic ﬁeld. We now turn this around and consider a given classical
oscillating point electric dipole
d(t) = d
0
´ z cos(ω
0
t) (10)
sitting at the origin and interacting with the quantized photon ﬁeld. Thus, we take the Hamiltonian
to be H = H
rad
+ H
int
where
H
rad
=
kλ
¯hcka
†
kλ
a
kλ
(11)
is written in the usual way in terms of creation and annihilation operators a
†
kλ
and a
kλ
for photons
of wavevector k and polarization ´ e
kλ
normalized to a periodic box of volume L
3
.
a) Starting from H
int
= −d(t)·E
T
(0) (where E
T
(0) is the transverse electric ﬁeld operator evaluated
at the origin), show that
H
int
=
_
−id
0
_
2π¯hc
L
3
k
√
ksin θ
k
(a
−k1
−a
†
k1
)
_
e
−iω
0
t
+ h.c. (12)
where θ
k
is the angle between
´
k and ´ z, and the polarizations are chosen so that ´ e
k1
lies in the
´ z −
´
k plane with positive component along ´ z and ´ e
k2
=
´
k × ´ e
k1
.
Since E
T
= −
1
c
˙
A, let us calculate
˙
A:
˙
A =
√
4πc
kλ
˙
Q
kλ
´ e
kλ
1
√
Ω
e
ik·r
=
_
4πc
L
3
kλ
P
kλ
´ e
kλ
e
ik·r
=
_
4πc
L
3
kλ
_
−i
_
¯hω
k
2
(a
−kλ
−a
†
kλ
)
_
´ e
kλ
e
ik·r
= −i
_
2πc¯h
L
3
kλ
√
ω
k
(a
−kλ
−a
†
kλ
)´ e
kλ
e
ik·r
Then,
E
T
= −
1
c
_
−i
_
2πc¯h
L
3
kλ
√
ω
k
(a
−kλ
−a
†
kλ
)´ e
kλ
e
ik·r
_
E
T
(0) = i
_
2π¯h
cL
3
kλ
√
ω
k
(a
−kλ
−a
†
kλ
)´ e
kλ
4
Replacing this result into the interaction Hamiltonian:
H
int
= −d · E
T
(0)
= −d
0
´ z cos(ω
0
t) ·
_
i
_
2π¯h
cL
3
kλ
√
ω
k
(a
−kλ
−a
†
kλ
)´ e
kλ
_
= −d
0
_
i
_
2π¯h
cL
3
kλ
√
ω
k
(a
−kλ
−a
†
kλ
)e
−iω
0
t
´ z · ´ e
kλ
_
= −id
0
_
2π¯hc
L
3
kλ
√
k(a
−k1
−a
†
k1
)e
−iω
0
t
cos(θ
k
±π/2)
= −id
0
_
2π¯hc
L
3
kλ
√
k(a
−k1
−a
†
k1
)e
−iω
0
t
sin(θ
k
)
b) Show that the density of photon states ρ(E) at energy E, for a single polarization is ρ(E) =
L
3
E
2
/2π
2
¯h
3
c
3
.
Let us start with the number of states:
N =
_
d
3
qd
3
p
h
3
=
L
3
h
3
_
4πp
2
dp =
4πL
3
h
3
_
E
2
c
2
1
c
dE
=
4πL
3
E
4
4h
3
c
3
=
L
3
E
4
π
(2π)
3
¯h
3
c
3
=
L
3
E
4
8π
2
¯h
3
c
3
then, the density of photon states is given by:
ρ(E) =
∂N
∂E
=
∂
∂E
_
L
3
E
4
8π
2
¯h
3
c
3
_
=
L
3
E
3
2π
2
¯h
3
c
3
(13)
c) Using the timedependent Fermi golden rule, calculate the total rate at which photons are being
radiated, and thus obtain the total power (energy per unit time) being radiated.
(HINT: to get the total rate, you may use the shortcut of using the overall density of states in
all directions, and replacing the factor of sin
2
θ by its average over the unit sphere.)
Let us calculate the total rate:
Γ =
2π
¯h
H
int

2
ρ(E) (14)
5
Calculating ﬁrst the matrix element:
fH
int
i = f
_
−id
0
_
2π¯hc
L
3
k
√
ksin θ
k
(a
−k1
−a
†
k1
)e
−iω
0
t
_
i
= −id
0
_
2π¯hc
L
3
k
√
ksin θ
k
e
−iω
0
t
f(a
−k1
−a
†
k1
)i
= −id
0
_
2π¯hc
L
3
k
√
ksin θ
k
e
−iω
0
t
δ
kk
√
n
k1
+ 1
= −id
0
_
2π¯hc
L
3
√
ksin θ
k
e
−iω
0
t
√
n
k1
+ 1
Then, plugging this result and (13) into (14):
Γ =
2π
¯h
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
−id
0
_
2π¯hc
L
3
√
ksin θ
k
e
−iω
0
t
√
n
k1
+ 1
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
2
L
3
E
3
2π
2
¯h
3
c
3
=
2π
¯h
d
2
0
2π¯hc
L
3
ksin
2
θ
k
(n
k1
+ 1)
L
3
E
3
2π
2
¯h
3
c
3
=
4d
2
0
kE
3
¯h
3
c
2
2
3
(n
k1
+ 1)
=
8d
2
0
kE
3
3¯h
3
c
2
(n
k1
+ 1)
d) Discuss brieﬂy the angular distribution and the polarization of the emitted photons.
Since the only polarization is the one in the direction of e
k1
, the emitted photons must be
polarized in such direction. Also, since the angular distribution will depend upon sin
2
θ, the
value must be positive.
6