Mathematics Department Técnico Técnico

Quantum Computation and Information Seminar  RSS


30/05/2014, 16:15 — 17:15 — Room P3.10, Mathematics Building
, University of Strathclyde

Optomechanical self-structuring in cold atoms

Optomechanics has attracted a lot of interest recently due to the combined control of light and mechanical modes. Spontaneous optomechanical self-organization was observed in a variety of non-linear systems such as atomic ensembles in a cavity [1].

We are looking in a single mirror scheme where a single pump beam and a mirror placed after the atomic cloud induce spontaneous self-organization observed on a plane transverse to the beam propagation. Previous investigations that showed continuous symmetry breaking on both translation and rotation relied on spatial modulation on the internal states of the atoms. Recently it was predicted that dipole forces alone could induce the same kind of transverse self-organization based on the atomic density without an intrinsic optical non-linearity [2]. We report on the observation of spontaneous self-structuring in cold atoms released from a magneto-optical trap [3]. Two mechanisms come into play in this experiment: the already known internal states non-linearity and the new optomechanical non-linearity. We identify regimes where each mechanism is dominant as well as the mixed case by comparing the structures in both the pump and in a probe beam sent a few tens of microseconds after pump extinction. In the optomechanical dominant regime, we observe in the probe the dynamical growth and decay of atomic structures in the order of magnitude comparable to the atomic motion at ultracold atoms temperatures.


  1. H. Ritsch et al. Rev. Mod. Phys. 85, 553–601 (2013)
  2. E. Tesio et al. Phys. Rev. A 86 031801(R) (2012)
  3. G. Labeyrie et al. Nature Photon. 8 321–325 (2014)

Supported by: Phys-Info (IT), SQIG (IT), CeFEMA and CAMGSD, with funding from FCT, FEDER and EU FP7, specifically through the Doctoral Programme in the Physics and Mathematics of Information (DP-PMI), FCT strategic projects PEst-OE/EEI/LA0008/2013 and UID/EEA/50008/2013, IT project QuSim, project CRUP-CPU CQVibes, the FP7 Coordination Action QUTE-EUROPE (600788), and the FP7 projects Landauer (GA 318287) and PAPETS (323901).


Instituto de TelecomunicaçõesCAMGSDFCT7th Framework Programme