• Quantum Collective Dynamics From the neV To the GeV

      Meystre, Pierre; Steinke, Steven Kurt; Meystre, Pierre; Rafelski, Johann; van Kolck, Ubirajara; Wright, Ewan (The University of Arizona., 2011)
      Three problems are investigated in the context of quantum collective dynamics. First, we examine the optomechanics of a Bose-Einstein condensate trapped in an optical ring cavity and coupled to counter-propagating light fields. Virtual dipole transitions cause the light to recoil elastically from the condensate and to excite its atoms into momentum side modes. These momentum side modes produce collective density oscillations. We contrast the situation to a condensate trapped in a Fabry-Perot cavity, where only symmetric ("cosine") side modes are excited. In the ring cavity case, antisymmetric ("sine") modes can be excited also. We explore the mean field limit and find that even when the counter-propagating light fields are symmetrically pumped, there are parameter regions where spontaneous symmetry breaking occurs and the sine mode becomes occupied. In addition, quantum fluctuations are taken into account and shown to be particularly significant for parameter values near bifurcations of the mean field dynamics. The next system studied is a hybrid composed of a high quality micromechanical membrane coupled magnetically to a spinor condensate. This coupling entangles the membrane and the condensate and can produce position superposition states of the membrane. Successive spin measurements of the condensate can put the membrane into an increasingly complicated state. It is possible in principle to produce nonclassical states of the membrane. We also examine a model of weaker, nonprojective measurements of the condensate's spin using phase contrast imaging. We find an upper limit on how quickly such measurements can be made without severely disrupting the unitary dynamics. The third situation analyzed is the string breaking mechanism in ultrahigh energy collisions. When quark-antiquark pairs are produced in a collision, they are believed to be linked by a tube of chromoelectric field flux, the color string. The energy of the string grows linearly with quark separation. This energy is converted into real particles by the Schwinger mechanism. Screening of the color fields by new particles breaks the string. By quantizing excitations of the string using the conjugate coordinates of field strength and string cross-section, we recover the observed exponential spectrum of outgoing particles.