Bose-Einstein condensation of microcavity polaritons in a trap

R BaliliK West


We have created polaritons in a harmonic potential trap analogous to atoms in optical traps. The trap can be loaded by creating polaritons 50 micrometers from its center that are allowed to drift into the trap. When the density of polaritons exceeds a critical threshold, we observe a number of signatures of Bose-Einstein condensation: spectral and spatial narrowing, a peak at zero momentum in the momentum distribution, first-order coherence, and spontaneous linear polarization of the light emission. The polaritons, which are eigenstates of the light-matter system in a microcavity, remain in the strong coupling regime while going through this dynamical phase transition.


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