Drexhage’s seminal observation that spontaneous emission rates of fluorophores vary with distance from a mirror uncovered the fundamental notion that a source’s environment determines radiative linewidths and shifts. Further, this observation established a powerful tool to determine fluorescence quantum yields. We present the direct analogue for sound. We demonstrate that a Chinese gong at a hard wall experiences radiative corrections to linewidth and line shift, and extract its intrinsic radiation efficiency. Beyond acoustics, our experiment opens new ideas to extend the Drexhage experiment to metamaterials, nanoantennas, and multipolar transitions.

E. Verhagen (Ewold)
Phys. Rev. Lett.
Resonant Nanophotonics

Langguth, L., Fleury, R., Alù, A., & Koenderink, F. (2016). The Drexhage's experiment for sound. Phys.Rev.Lett., 116(Article number: 224301), 1–6. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.224301