**August 04 2016**

**New article: Mean-field theory of atomic self-organization in optical cavities**

Our article **Mean-field theory of atomic self-organization in optical cavities** has been published in the most recent volume of Physical Review A.

#### Mean-field theory of atomic self-organization in optical cavities

Simon B. Jäger, Stefan Schütz, and Giovanna MorigiPhys. Rev. A. 94, 023807

Photons mediate long-range optomechanical forces between atoms in high-finesse resonators, which can induce the formation of ordered spatial patterns. When a transverse laser drives the atoms, the system undergoes a second-order phase transition that separates a uniform spatial density from a Bragg grating maximizing scattering into the cavity and is controlled by the laser intensity. Starting from a Fokker-Planck equation describing the semiclassical dynamics of the N-atom distribution function, we systematically develop a mean-field model and analyze its predictions for the equilibrium and out-of-equilibrium dynamics. The validity of the mean-field model is tested by comparison with the numerical simulations of the N-body Fokker-Planck equation and by means of a Bogoliubov-Born-Green-Kirkwood-Yvon (BBGKY) hierarchy. The mean-field theory predictions well reproduce several results of the N-body Fokker-Planck equation for sufficiently short times and are in good agreement with existing theoretical approaches based on field-theoretical models. The mean field, on the other hand, predicts thermalization time scales which are at least one order of magnitude shorter than the ones predicted by the N-body dynamics. We attribute this discrepancy to the fact that the mean-field ansatz discards the effects of the long-range incoherent forces due to cavity losses.