A wide range of physical phenomena such as optical binding and resonance energy transfer involve electronic coupling between adjacent molecules. A quantum electrodynamical description of these intermolecular interactions reveals the presence of retardation effects. The clarity of the procedure associated with the construction of the quantum amplitudes and the precision of the ensuing results for observable energies and rates are widely acknowledged. However, the length and complexity of the derivations involved in such quantum electrodynamical descriptions increase rapidly with the order of the process under study. Whether through the use of time-ordering approaches, or the more expedient state-sequence method, time-consuming calculations cannot usually be bypassed. A simple and succinct method is now presented, which provides for a direct and still entirely rigorous determination of the quantum electrodynamical amplitudes for processes of arbitrarily high order. Using the approach, new results for optical binding in two- and three-particle systems are secured and discussed.
|Journal||Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 9 Apr 2009|