Recently, we have experimentally established that the fundamental Casimir-Polder atom-surface interaction can be strongly modified by the temperature effects [1]. Our measurements are performed in the near-field regime so that the atom-surface C3 van der Waals interaction, which corresponds for a given atomic level to a shift of the energy spanning as - C3. z−3, with z the atom-surface distance, is modified by the thermal excitation of the surface modes, with C3 becoming C3(T) and T being the equilibrium temperature. Roughly, the atom is a near-field probe of the blackbody emission. The experiments were performed on Cs(7D3/2), through a selective reflection spectroscopy technique on a vapour at the interface of a hot superpolished sapphire window. The measurements rely on an elaborate fitting of the experimental lineshapes to a catalogue of universal lineshapes.

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