Friday, April 19, 2013

1304.5196 (Michael Buchhold et al.)

Dicke Quantum Spin and Photon Glass in Optical Cavities: Non-equilibrium
theory and experimental signatures

Michael Buchhold, Philipp Strack, Subir Sachdev, Sebastian Diehl
In the context of ultracold atoms in multimode optical cavities, the appearance of a quantum-critical glass phase of atomic spins has been predicted recently. Due to the long-range nature of the cavity-mediated interactions, but also the presence of a driving laser and dissipative processes such as cavity photon loss, the quantum optical realization of glassy physics has no analog in condensed matter, and could evolve into a "cavity glass microscope" for frustrated quantum systems out-of-equilibrium. Here we develop the non-equilibrium theory of the multimode Dicke model with quenched disorder and Markovian dissipation. Using a unified Keldysh path integral approach, we show that the defining features of a low temperature glass, representing a critical phase of matter with algebraically decaying temporal correlation functions, are seen to be robust against the presence of dissipation due to cavity loss. The universality class however is modified due to the Markovian bath. The presence of strong disorder leads to an enhanced equilibration of atomic and photonic degrees of freedom, including the emergence of a common low-frequency effective temperature. The imprint of the atomic spin glass physics onto a "photon glass" makes it possible to detect the glass state by standard experimental techniques of quantum optics. We provide an unambiguous characterization of the superradiant and glassy phases in terms of fluorescence spectroscopy, homodyne detection, and the temporal photon correlation function $g^{(2)}(\tau)$.
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