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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
Volume99
Pagination031801
Date PublishedMAR 14
Type of ArticleArticle
ISSN2469-9926
Abstract

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.

DOI10.1103/PhysRevA.99.031801