Observation of Light-Induced Dipole-Dipole Forces in Ultracold Atomic Gases

Por • 5 sep, 2022 • Sección: Leyes
Mira Maiwöger, Matthias Sonnleitner, Tiantian Zhang, Igor Mazets, Marion Mallweger, Dennis Rätzel, Filippo Borselli, Sebastian Erne, Jörg Schmiedmayer, and Philipp Haslinger

Light-matter interaction is well understood on the single-atom level and routinely used to manipulate atomic gases. However, in denser ensembles, collective effects emerge that are caused by light-induced dipole-dipole interactions and multiple photon scattering. Here, we report on the observation of a mechanical deformation of a cloud of ultracold 87Rb atoms due to the collective interplay of the atoms and a homogenous light field. This collective light scattering results in a self-confining potential with interesting features: It exhibits nonlocal properties, is attractive for both red- and blue-detuned light fields, and induces a remarkably strong force that depends on the gradient of the atomic density. Our experimental observations are discussed in the framework of a theoretical model based on a local-field approach for the light scattered by the atomic cloud. Our study provides a new angle on light propagation in high-density ensembles and expands the range of tools available for tailoring interactions in ultracold atomic gases.

Mira Maiwöger1Matthias Sonnleitner2,3Tiantian Zhang1Igor Mazets1,4,5Marion Mallweger1,6Dennis Rätzel7,3Filippo Borselli1Sebastian Erne1Jörg Schmiedmayer1, and Philipp Haslinger1,3,*

  • 1Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology, Atominstitut, TU Wien, 1020 Vienna, Austria
  • 2Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
  • 3Erwin Schrödinger International Institute for Mathematics and Physics, University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria
  • 4Research Platform MMM “Mathematics-Magnetism-Materials,” c/o Fakultät für Mathematik, University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria
  • 5Wolfgang Pauli Institute, c/o Fakultät für Mathematik, University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria
  • 6Department of Physics, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
  • 7Institut für Physik, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 12489 Berlin, Germany
  • *philipp.haslinger@tuwien.ac.at


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