August 16 2016

New article: Dissipation-Assisted Prethermalization in Long-Range Interacting Atomic Ensembles

Our article Dissipation-Assisted Prethermalization in Long-Range Interacting Atomic Ensembles has been published in the most recent volume of Physical Review Letters.

Dissipation-Assisted Prethermalization in Long-Range Interacting Atomic Ensembles

Stefan Schütz, Simon B. Jäger, and Giovanna Morigi
Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 083001

We theoretically characterize the semiclassical dynamics of an ensemble of atoms after a sudden quench across a driven-dissipative second-order phase transition. The atoms are driven by a laser and interact via conservative and dissipative long-range forces mediated by the photons of a single-mode cavity. These forces can cool the motion and, above a threshold value of the laser intensity, induce spatial ordering. We show that the relaxation dynamics following the quench exhibits a long prethermalizing behavior which is first dominated by coherent long-range forces and then by their interplay with dissipation. Remarkably, dissipation-assisted prethermalization is orders of magnitude longer than prethermalization due to the coherent dynamics. We show that it is associated with the creation of momentum-position correlations, which remain nonzero for even longer times than mean-field predicts. This implies that cavity cooling of an atomic ensemble into the self-organized phase can require longer time scales than the typical experimental duration. In general, these results demonstrate that noise and dissipation can substantially slow down the onset of thermalization in long-range interacting many-body systems.



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