Dynamical polarizability of atoms in arbitrary light fields: general theory and application to cesium

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Abstract

We present a systematic derivation of the dynamical polarizability and the ac Stark shift of the ground and excited states of atoms interacting with a far-off-resonance light field of arbitrary polarization. We calculate the scalar, vector, and tensor polarizabilities of atomic cesium using resonance wavelengths and reduced matrix elements for a large number of transitions. We analyze the properties of the fictitious magnetic field produced by the vector polarizability in conjunction with the ellipticity of the polarization of the light field.