Supermode-density-wave-polariton condensation with a Bose-Einstein condensate in a multimode cavity

Alicia J. Kollár, Alexander T. Papageorge, Varun D. Vaidya, Yudan Guo, Jonathan Keeling, Benjamin L. Lev

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Phase transitions, where observable properties of a many-body system change discontinuously, can occur in both open and closed systems. By placing cold atoms in optical cavities and inducing strong coupling between light and excitations of the atoms, one can experimentally study phase transitions of open quantum systems. Here we observe and study a non-equilibrium phase transition, the condensation of supermode-density-wave polaritons. These polaritons are formed from a superposition of cavity photon eigenmodes (a supermode), coupled to atomic density waves of a quantum gas. As the cavity supports multiple photon spatial modes and because the light–matter coupling can be comparable to the energy splitting of these modes, the composition of the supermode polariton is changed by the light–matter coupling on condensation. By demonstrating the ability to observe and understand density-wave-polariton condensation in the few-mode-degenerate cavity regime, our results show the potential to study similar questions in fully multimode cavities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14386
Number of pages10
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2017


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