Optical properties of atomic Mott insulators: From slow light to dynamical Casimir effects

Year: 2008

Authors: Carusotto I., Antezza M., Bariani F., De Liberato S., Ciuti C.

Autors Affiliation: CNR-INFM BEC Center and Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Trento, via Sommarive 14, I-38050 Povo, Italy;
Laboratoire Matériaux et Phénomènes Quantiques, Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7 et CNRS, UMR 7162, 75013 Paris, France;
Laboratoire Pierre Aigrain, École Normale Supérieure, 24 rue Lhomond, 75005 Paris, France

Abstract: We theoretically study the optical properties of a gas of ultracold, coherently dressed three-level atoms in a Mott insulator phase of an optical lattice. The vacuum state, the band dispersion and the absorption spectrum of the polariton field can be controlled in real time by varying the amplitude and the frequency of the dressing beam. In the weak dressing regime, the system shows unique ultraslow-light propagation properties without absorption. In the presence of a fast time modulation of the dressing amplitude, we predict a significant emission of photon pairs by parametric amplification of the polaritonic zero-point fluctuations. Quantitative considerations on the experimental observability of such a dynamical Casimir effect are presented for the most promising atomic species and level schemes.


Volume: 77 (6)      Pages from: 063621  to: 063621

KeyWords: slow light propagation; dynamical Casimir effect; atomic Mott insulator
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.77.063621

Citations: 32
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