Picture of two heads

Open Access research that challenges the mind...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

Discover more...

Spontaneous optomechanical pattern formation in cold atoms

Tesio, Enrico and Robb, Gordon and Ackemann, Thorsten and Firth, William and Oppo, Gian-Luca (2012) Spontaneous optomechanical pattern formation in cold atoms. Physical Review A, 86 (3). ISSN 1094-1622

[img] PDF (PRA86_031801_R_12.pdf)
PRA86_031801_R_12.pdf - Final Published Version
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 logo

Download (292kB)

Abstract

Transverse pattern formation in an optical cavity containing a cloud of cold two-level atoms is discussed. We show that density modulation becomes the dominant mechanism as the atomic temperature is reduced. Indeed, for low but easily achievable temperatures the internal degrees of freedom of the atoms can be neglected, and the system is well described by treating them as linear dielectric particles. A linear stability analysis predicts the instability threshold and the spatial scale of the emergent pattern. Numerical simulations in two transverse dimensions confirm the instability and predict the spontaneous formation of honeycomb and hexagonal density structures, respectively, for the blue and red detuned cases.