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Optomechanical self-organization in cold atomic gases

Ackemann, Thorsten and Tesio, Enrico and Labeyrie, G. and Robb, Gordon and Monteiro Gomes, Pedro and Arnold, Aidan and Firth, William and Oppo, Gian-Luca and Kaiser, Robin (2014) Optomechanical self-organization in cold atomic gases. In: 2013 Sixth "Rio De La Plata" Workshop on Laser Dynamics and Nonlinear Photonics. IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, United States, pp. 1-5.

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We discuss the formation of optomechanical structures from the interaction between linear dielectric scatterers and a light field via dipole forces without the need for optical nonlinearities. The experiment uses a high density sample of Rb atoms in a single mirror feedback geometry. We observe hexagonal structures in the light field and a complementary honeycomb pattern in the atomic density. Different theoretical approaches are discussed assuming either viscous damping of the atomic velocity or not. The interplay between electronic and optomechanical nonlinearities is analyzed. A prediction for dissipative light - matter density solitons is given. The investigations demonstrate novel prospects for the manipulation of matter in a pattern forming system in which quantum effects should be accessible.