Spontaneous atomic crystallization via diffractive dephasing in optical cavities


Abstract The design of an experiment on the spontaneous crystallization of a laser-cooled, but thermal atomic cloud into a hexagonally structured phase is discussed. Atomic interaction is mediated by the dipole potential of an optical lattice formed spontaneously in a multi-mode degenerate cavity from single-mode longitudinal pumping. The length scale of the structure is given by the diffractive dephasing between the spontaneous sidebands and the on-axis pump. A linear stability indicates that the transition can be observed in a cavity of moderate finesse compatible with having the cavity mirrors outside the vacuum cell. A new anti-reflection coated cell has been assembled for this purpose.

Journal of Physics: Conference Series