Kinetic theory for transverse optomechanical instabilities

Tesio, Enrico and Robb, Gordon and Ackemann, Thorsten and Firth, William and Oppo, Gian-Luca (2014) Kinetic theory for transverse optomechanical instabilities. Physical Review Letters, 112 (4). 043901. ISSN 1079-7114 (

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We investigate transverse symmetry-breaking instabilities emerging from the optomechanical coupling between light and the translational degrees of freedom of a collisionless, damping-free gas of cold, two-level atoms. We develop a kinetic theory that can also be mapped on to the case of an electron plasma under ponderomotive forces. A general criterion for the existence and spatial scale of transverse instabilities is identified; in particular, we demonstrate that monotonically decreasing velocity distribution functions are always unstable.


Tesio, Enrico, Robb, Gordon ORCID logoORCID:, Ackemann, Thorsten ORCID logoORCID:, Firth, William and Oppo, Gian-Luca ORCID logoORCID:;