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The Dicke quantum phase transition with a superfluid gas in an optical cavity

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A fundamental concept to describe the collective matter-light interaction is the Dicke model which has been predicted to show an intriguing quantum phase transition. We have realized the Dicke quantum phase transition in an open system formed by a Bose Einstein condensate coupled to an optical cavity, and observed the emergence of a selforganized supersolid phase. The phase transition is driven by infinitely long-ranged interactions between the condensed atoms. We show that the phase transition is described by the Dicke Hamiltonian, including counter-rotating coupling terms, and that the supersolid phase is associated with a spontaneously broken spatial symmetry. The boundary of the phase transition is mapped out in quantitative agreement with the Dicke model.

This talk is part of the Irregular seminars in TCM series.

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