University of Connecticut

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Charles Reynolds Distinguished Lecture

Friday, November 4, 2016
4:00pm – 5:00pm

Storrs Campus
Gant Science Complex, Physics, Room PB-38

Peter Littlewood, director of Argonne National Laboratory and Professor of Physics, James Franck Institute, University of Chicago

“Bose Condensation of Polaritons: A Superfluid of Light”

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.

Refreshments will be prior to the talk at 3:30 p.m., In the Gant Complex, Physics Library, Room PB-103.

Contact:

Gayanath Fernando <gayanath.fernando@uconn.edu>

Physics Department (primary)

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