Spinor self-ordering of a quantum gas in a cavity

Ronen M. Kroeze, Yudan Guo, Varun D. Vaidya, Jonathan Keeling, Benjamin L. Lev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


We observe the joint spin-spatial (spinor) self-organization of a two-component BEC strongly coupled to an optical cavity. This unusual nonequilibrium Hepp-Lieb-Dicke phase transition is driven by an off-resonant two-photon Raman transition formed from a classical pump field and the emergent quantum dynamical cavity field. This mediates a spinor-spinor interaction that, above a critical strength, simultaneously organizes opposite spinor states of the BEC on opposite checkerboard configurations of an emergent 2D lattice. The resulting spinor density-wave polariton condensate is observed by directly detecting the atomic spin and momentum state and by holographically reconstructing the phase of the emitted cavity field. The latter provides a direct measure of the spin state, and a spin-spatial domain wall is observed. The photon-mediated spin interactions demonstrated here may be engineered to create dynamical gauge fields and quantum spin glasses.
Original languageEnglish
Article number163601
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number16
Early online date16 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2018


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