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

C. von Cube, D. Kruse, C. Zimmermann, P.W. Courteille, G.R.M. Robb, N. Piovella, R. Bonifacio

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number083601
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2004


  • atomic recoil lasing
  • lasers
  • atoms
  • laser light
  • optics

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