We investigate the spontaneous emission lifetime of a single trapped (40)Ca+ ion placed at different positions in the vacuum standing wave inside a high finesse cavity which is stabilized to the atomic transition. The lifetime is measured by quantum state detection after pi-pulse excitation. The result for the natural lifetime of the D(5/2) metastable state of 1161(22) ms agrees, within 1 standard deviation, with the most precise published value. We observe a reduction of the spontaneous emission lifetime of approximately 15% in the node of the vacuum field.
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The corresponding record at NLM can be accessed at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15169347