Spatial dynamics, thermalization, and gain clamping in a photon condensate

Jonathan Keeling, Peter Kirton

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20 Citations (Scopus)


We study theoretically the effects of pump-spot size and location on photon condensates. By exploring the inhomogeneous molecular excitation fraction, we make clear the relation between spatial equilibration, gain clamping, and thermalization in a photon condensate. This provides a simple understanding of several recent experimental results. We find that as thermalization breaks down, gain clamping is imperfect, leading to "transverse spatial hole burning" and multimode condensation. This opens the possibility of engineering the gain profile to control the condensate structure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number013829
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2016


  • pump-spot size
  • photon condensates
  • spatial dynamics
  • thermalization
  • gain clamping

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