Abstract

We study a simple version of the dynamical Casimir effect in a single electromagnetic cavity mode containing a Kerr medium. We obtain an approximate expression for the time evolution operator valid for short times and/or low average photon number. We have found that the generation of photons from quantum vacuum is strongly affected by the presence of the Kerr medium. In the time domain it shows strong oscillations, whose frequency increases with the intensity of the nonlinear medium, sharing physical features with the case of two two-level atoms in a cavity with oscillating walls. Using a semiclassical approach, we show that Kerr nonlinearity produces a faster decrease in the photon production rate than that reported in previous studies working on quasi-resonant nonstationary cavities. We also found that the initial vacuum state can evolve in a cat sate. We expect that these results could be relevant for any study involving the dynamical Casimir effect that is willing to incorporate Kerr nonlinearities.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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