Polariton Condensation


Peter B. Littlewood
Associate Laboratory Director for Physical Sciences and Engineering
U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory
James Franck Institute, University of Chicago
Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge

Abstract:  Macroscopic phase coherence is one of the most remarkable manifestaions of quantum mechanics, yet it seems to be the inevitable ground state of interacting many-body systems. In the last two decades, the familiar examples of superfluid He and conventional superconductors have been joined by exotic and high temperature superconductors, ultra-cold atomic gases, both bosonic and fermionic, and recently systems of excitons, magnons, and exciton-photon superpositions called polaritons, the subject of this talk.

Engineering of optical microcavities make use of the mixing of electronic excitations with photons to create a composite boson called a polariton that has a very light mass, and recent experiments provide good evidence for a high-temperature Bose condensate. Polariton systems also offer an opportunity to use optical pumping to study quantum dynamics of a many body system outside equilibrium, in a new kind of cold atom laboratory.

Please post the attached flyer in your departments. All interested individuals are invited to attend.

Sponsored by the Department of Physics and cSEND