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Research Highlight | Materials Science Division

Phase transition from a polariton bose condensate to a laser

In a study published in Physical Review Letters, researchers report a novel mechanism for a non-equilibrium phase transition from a Bose-Einstein condensate of polaritons to a photon laser.

Scientific Achievement

We predict that there is a critical point analogous to liquid-gas coexistence in the phase diagram of a dynamically driven condensate of light and matter.

Significance and Impact

Our theory explains why polariton condensates—coherent superpositions of light and electron-hole pairs—show two thresholds for the onset of coherence, either discontinuous or continuous, and identifies possible coexistence at a unique exceptional point.

Research Details

  • We use both microscopic theory and a generalized dynamical model of a two-component condensate to demonstrate that condensation can generically occur separately in both the in-phase” and out-of- phase” components of a non-equilibrium system.
  • The existence of a degeneracy at an exceptional point is likely to be a generic feature of two-component driven condensates.


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