We present an analytical model for hole burning in a random collection of microparticles, based on single-particle properties. The model indicates that the linewidth of the central hole is approximately Lorentzian in shape and is controlled by the photon lifetimes in individual particles. Our conclusion is consistent with experiments on a two-dimensional layer of connected microparticles. Electrodynamic calculations for a pair of particles in contact provide an explanation for the apparent lack of importance of interparticle interactions in the experiments and suggest conditions under which the effects of such interactions should appear.
© 1992 Optical Society of America
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