Self-synchronization and dissipation-induced threshold in collective atomic recoil lasing

von Cube, C. and Kruse, D. and Zimmermann, C. and Courteille, P.W. and Robb, G.R.M. and Piovella, N. and Bonifacio, R. (2004) Self-synchronization and dissipation-induced threshold in collective atomic recoil lasing. Physical Review Letters, 93 (8). 083601. ISSN 1079-7114 (

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Networks of globally coupled oscillators exhibit phase transitions from incoherent to coherent states. Atoms interacting with the counterpropagating modes of a unidirectionally pumped high-finesse ring cavity form such a globally coupled network. The coupling mechanism is provided by collective atomic recoil lasing, i.e., cooperative Bragg scattering of laser light at an atomic density grating, which is self-induced by the laser light. Under the rule of an additional friction force, the atomic ensemble is expected to undergo a phase transition to a state of synchronized atomic motion. We present the experimental investigation of this phase transition by studying the threshold behavior of this lasing process.


von Cube, C., Kruse, D., Zimmermann, C., Courteille, P.W., Robb, G.R.M. ORCID logoORCID:, Piovella, N. and Bonifacio, R.;