The suppression of spontaneous emission at an optical frequency requires much smaller cavities. In 1986 one of us (Haroche), along with other physicists at Yale University, made a micron-wide structure by stacking two optically flat mirrors separated by extremely thin metallic spacers. The workers sent atoms through this passage, thereby preventing them from radiating for as long as 13 times the normal excited-state lifetime. Researchers at the University of Rome used similar micron-wide gaps to inhibit emission by excited dye molecules."Well, I have to admit this is rather surprising.
I never thought that the research work I did as a student would ever actually be of any use to me.
As is often the case, I was pretty much copying a piece of research done earlier by someone else.
And I actually did the experiment of putting a fluorescent molecule (well, lots of them) near a mirror- i.e. in a "one sided" cavity.
And I measured their fluorescence half life as a function of distance from the mirror.
Here are the results I got.
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So,yes, I have known for over 30 years, and from personal experience that this is the case.
(My structures were even smaller than the ones your reference refers to: the smallest was just 60 nm wide.- not bad going for 1988 technology)
I'm curious: what was your research field in the late 80s?