Spontaneous atomic crystallization via diffractive dephasing in optical cavities

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012014
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2021
EventPhoton 2020 - Online event
Duration: 1 Sept 20204 Sept 2020


  • optical lattices
  • optical cavities
  • spontaneous crystallization


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