September 19 2013

New article: Phys. Rev. A 88, 033830 (2013)

Seeding patterns for self-organization of photons and atoms

Wolfgang Niedenzu, Stefan Sch├╝tz, Hessam Habibian, Giovanna Morigi, and Helmut Ritsch
Phys. Rev. A 88, 033830 (2013)

When atoms scatter photons from a transverse laser into a high-finesse optical cavity, they form crystalline structures which maximize the intracavity light field and trap the atoms in the ordered array. Stable organization occurs when the laser field amplitude exceeds a certain threshold. For planar single-mode cavities there exist two equivalent possible atomic patterns, which determine the phase of the intracavity light field. Under these premises, we show that the effect of an additional laser pumping the cavity makes one pattern more favorable than the other and that it can dynamically force the system into a predetermined configuration. This is an instance of pattern formation and seeding in a nonlinear quantum-optical system.

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