Group seminar at MPQ and Zoom: Many-body physics and self-organization with atoms and photons

June 26, 2023

Ana Asenjo Garcia, Columbia University
Group seminar at MPQ lecture hall and Zoom
Monday, June 26th, 2pm (MEZ)

Dissipation and fluctuations are known to be sources of order in complex non-linear systems formed by many agents, as they lead to the generation of self-organized spatial or temporal structures. However, dissipation is considered to produce loss of coherence in open quantum systems, contributing to the
inherent fragility of quantum states. Here, I will discuss how coherent behavior emerges in large quantum systems consisting of many atoms if dissipation is collective, in the form of correlated photon emission and absorption.  In particular, I will discuss the many-body out-of-equilibrium physics of atomic arrays, and focus on the problem of Dicke superradiance, where a collection of excited atoms self-organizes as they decay, emitting a short and intense pulse of light. Superradiance remains an open problem in extended systems due to the exponential growth of complexity with atom number. I will show that superradiance is a universal phenomenon in ordered arrays. Our predictions can be tested in state of the art experiments with arrays of neutral atoms (in particular, harnessing long-wavelength transitions of Strontium and Ytterbium), and pave the way towards understanding the role of many-body decay in extended systems for quantum simulation, metrology, and lasing.

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