Scientific Results

Quantum fluids of light

Year: 2013

Authors: Carusotto I., Ciuti C.

Autors Affiliation: INO-CNR BEC Center and Dipartimento di Fisica, Universita` di Trento, I-38123 Povo, Italy; Laboratoire Matériaux et Phénomènes Quantiques, Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7 and CNRS, Bâtiment Condorcet, 10 rue Alice Domon et Léonie Duquet, 75205 Paris Cedex 13, France

Abstract: This article reviews recent theoretical and experimental advances in the fundamental understanding and active control of quantum fluids of light in nonlinear optical systems. In the presence of effective photon-photon interactions induced by the optical nonlinearity of the medium, a many-photon system can behave collectively as a quantum fluid with a number of novel features stemming from its intrinsically nonequilibrium nature. A rich variety of recently observed photon hydrodynamical effects is presented, from the superfluid flow around a defect at low speeds, to the appearance of a Mach-Cherenkov cone in a supersonic flow, to the hydrodynamic formation of topological excitations such as quantized vortices and dark solitons at the surface of large impenetrable obstacles. While the review is mostly focused on a specific class of semiconductor systems that have been extensively studied in recent years (planar semiconductor microcavities in the strong light-matter coupling regime having cavity polaritons as elementary excitations), the very concept of quantum fluids of light applies to a broad spectrum of systems, ranging from bulk nonlinear crystals, to atomic clouds embedded in optical fibers and cavities, to photonic crystal cavities, to superconducting quantum circuits based on Josephson junctions. The conclusive part of the article is devoted to a review of the future perspectives in the direction of strongly correlated photon gases and of artificial gauge fields for photons. In particular, several mechanisms to obtain efficient photon blockade are presented, together with their application to the generation of novel quantum phases. DOI: 10.1103/RevModPhys.85.299

Journal/Review: REVIEWS OF MODERN PHYSICS

Volume: 85 (1)      Pages from: 299  to: 366

More Information: This review article could never have been completed without the continuous stimulating discussions with the many friends and colleagues with whom we had the chance of collaborating during all these years on the fascinating subject of quantum fluids of light, in particular, A. Amo, M. Bamba, J. Bloch, A. Baas, A. Bramati, S. De Liberato, J. W. Fleischer, D. Gerace, E. Giacobino, M. Hafezi, A. Imamoglu, G. C. La Rocca, S. Pigeon, M. Richard, D. Sanvitto, D. Sarchi, V. Savona, A. Smerzi, J. Tignon, H. Tureci, R. O. Umucalilar, T. Volz, and M. Wouters. I. C. acknowledges partial financial support from ERC via the QGBE grant. C. C. acknowledges support from the Institut Universitaire de France (IUF) and ANR via the QPOL and QUANDYDE grants.
DOI: 10.1103/RevModPhys.85.299

Citations: 801
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English