Dynamical Phase Transitions to Optomechanical Superradiance
We theoretically analyze superradiant emission of light from an ultracold gas of bosonic atoms confined in a bad cavity. A metastable dipolar transition of the atoms couples to the cavity field and is incoherently pumped, and the mechanical effects of cavity-atom interactions tend to order the atoms in the periodic cavity potential. By means of a mean-field model we determine the conditions on the cavity parameters and pump rate that lead to the buildup of a stable macroscopic dipole emitting coherent light. We show that this occurs when the superradiant decay rate and the pump rate exceed threshold values of the order of the photon recoil energy. Above these thresholds superradiant emission is accompanied by the formation of stable matter-wave gratings that diffract the emitted photons. Outside of this regime, instead, the optomechanical coupling can give rise to dephasing or chaos, for which the emitted light is respectively incoherent or chaotic. These behaviors exhibit the features of a dynamical phase transitions and emerge from the interplay between global optomechanical interactions, quantum fluctuations, and noise.
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Physical Review Letters