Coupling of magnetic and optomechanical structuring in cold atoms

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Self-organized phases in cold atoms as a result of light-mediated interactions can be induced by coupling to internal or external degrees of the atoms. There has been growing interest in the interaction of internal spin degrees of freedom with the optomechanical dynamics of the external center-of-mass motion. We present a model for the coupling between magnetic and optomechanical structuring in a J = 1/2 → J = 3/2 system in a single-mirror feedback scheme, which is representative of a larger class of diffractively coupled systems such as longitudinally pumped cavities and counterpropagating-beam schemes. For negative detunings, a linear stability analysis demonstrates that optical pumping and optomechanical driving cooperate to create magnetic ordering. However, for long-period transmission gratings the magnetic driving will strongly dominate the optomechanical driving, unless one operates very close to the existence range of the magnetic instability. At small lattice periods, in particular at wavelength-scale periods, the optomechanical driving will dominate.
Original languageEnglish
Article number063508
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2022


  • cold atoms
  • optomechanical self-organization
  • cold gases in optical lattices
  • optical pumping
  • optomechanics
  • pattern formation


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