AlbaNova and Nordita Colloquium
Peter Littlewood (Argonne National Laboratory, University of Chicago)
FR4 Oskar Kleins Auditorium
Thursday 23 May
15:00 - 16:00
Macroscopic phase coherence is one of the most remarkable manifestations of quantum mechanics, yet it seems to be the inevitable ground state of interacting many-body systems. In the last two decades, the familiar examples of superfluid He and conventional superconductors have been joined by exotic and high temperature superconductors, ultra-cold atomic gases, both bosonic and fermionic, and recently systems of excitons, magnons, and exciton-photon superpositions called polaritons, the subject of this talk.
Engineering of optical microcavities make use of the mixing of electronic excitations with photons to create a composite boson called a polariton that has a very light mass, and recent experiments provide good evidence for a high-temperature Bose condensate. Polariton systems also offer an opportunity to use optical pumping to study quantum dynamics of a many body system outside equilibrium, in a new kind of cold atom laboratory.