Abstract:
Using the Born expansion of the Green tensor, we consider the spontaneous decay rate of an excited atom placed in the vicinity of a rectangular plate. We discuss the limitations of the commonly used simplifying assumption that the plate extends to infinity in the lateral directions and examine the effects of the atomic dipole moment orientation, atomic position, and plate boundary and thickness on the atomic decay rate. In particular, it is shown that in the boundary region, the spontaneous decay rate can be strongly modified.

Abstract:
We introduce two entanglement conditions that take the form of inequalities involving expectation values of operators. These conditions are sufficient conditions for entanglement, that is if they are satisfied the state is entangled, but if they are not, one can say nothing about the entanglement of the state. These conditions are quite flexible, because the operators in them are not specified, and they are particularly useful in detecting multipartite entanglement. We explore the range of utility of these conditions by considering a number of examples of entangled states, and seeing under what conditions entanglement in them can be detected by the inequalities presented here.

Abstract:
There have been numerous studies of entanglement in spin systems. These have usually focussed on examining the entanglement between individual spins or determining whether the state of the system is completely separable. Here we present conditions that allow us to determine whether blocks of spins are entangled. We show that sometimes these conditions can detect entanglement better than conditions involving individual spins. We apply these conditions to study entanglement in spin wave states, both when there are only a few magnons present and also at finite temperature.

Abstract:
We derive several entanglement conditions employing non-hermitian operators. We start with two conditions that were derived previously for field mode operators, and use them to derive conditions that can be used to show the existence of field-atom entanglement and entanglement between groups of atoms. The original conditions can be strengthened by making them invariant under certain sets of local unitary transformations, such as Gaussian operations. We then apply these conditions to several examples, such as the Dicke model. We conclude with a short discussion of how local uncertainty relations with non-hermitian operators can be used to derive entanglement conditions.

Abstract:
The efficiency of recently proposed single-photon emitting sources based on tunable planar band-gap structures is examined. The analysis is based on the study of the total and ``radiative'' decay rates, the expectation value of emitted radiation energy and its collimating cone. It is shown that the scheme operating in the frequency range near the defect resonance of a defect band-gap structure is more efficient than the one operating near the band edge of a perfect band-gap structure.

Abstract:
A formalism for studying spontaneous decay of an excited two-level atom in the presence of dispersing and absorbing dielectric bodies is developed. An integral equation, which is suitable for numerical solution, is derived for the atomic upper-state-probability amplitude. The emission pattern and the power spectrum of the emitted light are expressed in terms of the Green tensor of the dielectric-matter formation including absorption and dispersion. The theory is applied to the spontaneous decay of an excited atom at the center of a three-layered spherical cavity, with the cavity wall being modeled by a band-gap dielectric of Lorentz type. Both weak coupling and strong coupling are studied, the latter with special emphasis on the cases where the atomic transition is (i) in the normal-dispersion zone near the medium resonance and (ii) in the anomalous-dispersion zone associated with the band gap. In a single-resonance approximation, conditions of the appearance of Rabi oscillations and closed solutions to the evolution of the atomic state population are derived, which are in good agreement with the exact numerical results.

Abstract:
Within the framework of quantization of the macroscopic electromagnetic field, a master equation describing both the resonant dipole-dipole interaction (RDDI) and the resonant atom-field interaction (RAFI) in the presence of dispersing and absorbing macroscopic bodies is derived, with the relevant couplings being expressed in terms of the surroundings-assisted Green tensor. It is shown that under certain conditions the RDDI can be regarded as being governed by an effective Hamiltonian. The theory, which applies to both weak and strong atom-field coupling, is used to study the resonant energy exchange between two (two-level) atoms sharing initially a single excitation. In particular, it is shown that in the regime of weak atom-field coupling there is a time window, where the energy transfer follows a transfer-rate law of the type obtained by ordinary second-order perturbation theory. Finally, the spectrum of the light emitted during the energy transfer is studied and the line splittings are discussed.

Abstract:
A quantization scheme for the phenomenological Maxwell theory of the full electromagnetic field in an inhomogeneous three-dimensional, dispersive and absorbing dielectric medium is developed. The classical Maxwell equations with spatially varying and Kramers-Kronig consistent permittivity are regarded as operator-valued field equations, introducing additional current- and charge-density operator fields in order to take into account the noise associated with the dissipation in the medium. It is shown that the equal-time commutation relations between the fundamental electromagnetic fields $\hat E$ and $\hat B$ and the potentials $\hat A$ and $\hat \phi$ in the Coulomb gauge can be expressed in terms of the Green tensor of the classical problem. From the Green tensors for bulk material and an inhomogeneous medium consisting of two bulk dielectrics with a common planar interface it is explicitly proven that the well-known equal-time commutation relations of QED are preserved.

Abstract:
Within the frame of macroscopic quantum electrodynamics in causal media, the van der Waals interaction between an atomic system and an arbitrary arrangement of dispersing and absorbing dielectric bodies including metals is studied. It is shown that the minimal-coupling scheme and the multipolar-coupling scheme lead to essentially the same formula for the van der Waals potential. As an application, the vdW potential of an atom in the presence of a sphere is derived. Closed expressions for the long-distance (retardation) and short-distance (non-retardation) limits are given, and the effect of material absorption is discussed.

Abstract:
By making use of the Green function concept of quantization of the electromagnetic field in Kramers--Kronig consistent media, a rigorous quantum mechanical derivation of the rate of intermolecular energy transfer in the presence of arbitrarily shaped, dispersing, and absorbing material bodies is given. Applications to bulk material, multi-slab planar structures, and microspheres are studied. It is shown that when the two molecules are near a planar interface, then surface-guided waves can strongly affect the energy transfer and essentially modify both the (F\"{o}rster) short-range $R^{-6}$ dependence of the transfer rate and the long-range $R^{-2}$ dependence, which are typically observed in free space. In particular, enhancement (inhibition) of energy transfer can be accompanied by inhibition (enhancement) of donor decay. Results for four- and five-layered planar structures are given and compared with experimental results. Finally, the energy transfer between two molecules located at diametrically opposite positions outside a microsphere is briefly discussed.