RSS icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Vimeo icon
YouTube icon

Theory of Bose condensation of light via laser cooling of atoms

TitleTheory of Bose condensation of light via laser cooling of atoms
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsC-H. Wang, M.. J. Gullans, , W. D. Phillips, and J. M. Taylor
JournalPhys. Rev. A
Date PublishedMAR 14
Type of ArticleArticle

A Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) is a quantum phase of matter achieved at low temperatures. Photons, one of the most prominent species of bosons, do not typically condense due to the lack of a particle number conservation. We recently described a photon thermalization mechanism which gives rise to a grand canonical ensemble of light with effective photon number conservation between a subsystem and a particle reservoir. This mechanism occurs during Doppler laser cooling of atoms where the atoms serve as a temperature reservoir while the cooling laser photons serve as a particle reservoir. In contrast to typical discussions of BEC, our system is better treated with a controlled chemical potential rather than a controlled particle number, and is subject to energy-dependent loss. Here, we address the question of the possibility of a BEC of photons in this laser cooling photon thermalization scenario and theoretically demonstrate that a Bose condensation of photons can be realized by cooling an ensemble of two-level atoms (realizable with alkaline-earth atoms) inside a Fabry-Perot cavity.