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ii PREFACE Why should we care about nano-optics? For the same reason as we care for optics! The foundations of many fields of the contemporary sciences have been established using optical experiments. To give an example, think of quantum mechanics. Black-body radiation, hydrogen lines, or the photoelectric effect were key experiments that nurtured the(More)
We derive the life time and loss rate for a trapped particle that is coupled to fluctuating fields in the vicinity of a room-temperature metallic and/or di-electric surface. Our results indicate a clear predominance of near field effects over ordinary blackbody radiation. We develop a theoretical framework for both charged and neutral particles with and(More)
A transport theory for atomic matter waves in low-dimensional waveguides is outlined. The thermal fluctuation spectrum of magnetic near fields leaking out of metallic microstructures is estimated. The corresponding scattering rate for paramagnetic atoms turns out to be quite large in micrometer-sized waveguides (ap-prox. 100/s). Analytical estimates for the(More)
The coherence length of the thermal electromagnetic field near a planar surface has a minimum value related to the nonlocal dielectric response of the material. We perform two model calculations of the electric energy density and the field's degree of spatial coherence. Above a polar crystal, the lattice constant gives the minimum coherence length. It also(More)
The limitations for the coherent manipulation of neutral atoms with fabricated solid state devices, so-called 'atom chips', are addressed. Specifically, we examine the dominant decoherence mechanism, which is due to the magnetic noise originating from the surface of the atom chip. It is shown that the contribution of fluctuations in the chip wires at the(More)
We derive closed expressions for the Casimir-Polder potential between metal nanoparticles as well as for the light-induced interaction owing to the gradient force. Within the validity of the dipole approximation, the maximum interaction energy turns out to be proportional to the plasma frequency, and it is comparable to the thermal energy at T=300 K. On the(More)
We review the current status of the field of atom-surface interactions, with an emphasis on the regimes specific to atom chips. Recent developments in theory and experiment are highlighted. In particular, atom-surface interactions define physical limits for miniaturization and coherent operation. This implies constraints for applications in quantum(More)