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Pattern formation and self-organization in large clouds of cold atoms

par Caroline CHAMPENOIS - publié le

séminaire du laboratoire
mardi 8 novembre à 14:00, service à définir, campus Saint-Jérôme

Guillaume Labeyrie
Institut Non-Linéaire de Nice, Sophia-Antipolis

abstract :

For the past years, we have been investigating the spontaneous formation of spatial patterns in the transverse section of a retro-reflected laser beam passing through a cloud of cold atoms. We have shown that several mechanisms are available for the nonlinear interaction between light and atoms, that can be selected independently in the same experiment. Cold atomic clouds thus appear as a new class of interesting, versatile media to study pattern formation. One nonlinear mechanism is the simple Kerr effect associated to the saturation of a 2-level atomic transition. The second, ’’optomechanical’’ mechanism is due to spatial bunching of the cold atoms under the action of the dipole force. The third mechanism is based on Zeeman pumping and leads to the self-organization of the atomic spins. I will describe these various mechanisms and discuss the nature of the corresponding instabilities.

contact : Caroline Champenois

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