Multimode collective scattering of light in free space by a cold atomic gas

R. Ayllon, J. T. Mendonça, A. T. Gisbert, N. Piovella, G. R.M. Robb

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6 Citations (Scopus)
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We have studied collective recoil lasing by a cold atomic gas, scattering photons from an incident laser into many radiation modes in free space. The model consists of a system of classical equations for the atomic motion of N atoms where the radiation field has been adiabatically eliminated. We performed numerical simulations using a molecular dynamics code pepc (Pretty Efficient Parallel Coulomb Solver) to track the trajectories of the atoms. These simulations show the formation of an atomic density grating and collective enhancement of scattered light, both of which are sensitive to the shape and orientation of the atomic cloud. In the case of an initially circular cloud, the dynamical evolution of the cloud shape plays an important role in the development of the density grating and collective scattering. The ability to use efficient molecular dynamics codes will be a useful tool for the study of the multimode interaction between light and cold gases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number023630
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2019


  • Rayleigh scattering
  • cold atomic gas
  • scattering photons


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