Optomechanical self-organization in cold atomic gases

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We discuss the formation of optomechanical structures from the interaction between linear dielectric scatterers and a light field via dipole forces without the need for optical nonlinearities. The experiment uses a high density sample of Rb atoms in a single mirror feedback geometry. We observe hexagonal structures in the light field and a complementary honeycomb pattern in the atomic density. Different theoretical approaches are discussed assuming either viscous damping of the atomic velocity or not. The interplay between electronic and optomechanical nonlinearities is analyzed. A prediction for dissipative light - matter density solitons is given. The investigations demonstrate novel prospects for the manipulation of matter in a pattern forming system in which quantum effects should be accessible.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2013 Sixth "Rio De La Plata" Workshop on Laser Dynamics and Nonlinear Photonics
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ, United States
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2014


  • cold atomic gases
  • dissipative light-matter density solitons
  • rubidium atomic density
  • single-mirror feedback geometry
  • optomechanical self-organization


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