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Dissipation-enhanced collapse singularity of a nonlocal fluid of light in a hot atomic vapor

Abstract : We study the out-of-equilibrium dynamics of a two-dimensional paraxial fluid of light using a near-resonant laser propagating through a hot atomic vapor. We observe a double shock-collapse instability: a shock (gradient catastrophe) for the velocity, as well as an annular (ring-shaped) collapse singularity for the density. We find experimental evidence that this instability results from the combined effect of the nonlocal photon-photon interaction and the linear photon losses. The theoretical analysis based on the method of characteristics reveals the main result that dissipation (photon losses) is responsible for an unexpected enhancement of the collapse instability. Detailed analytical modeling makes it possible to evaluate the nonlocality range of the interaction. The nonlocality is controlled by adjusting the atomic vapor temperature and is seen to increase dramatically when the atomic density becomes much larger than one atom per cubic wavelength. Interestingly, such a large range of the nonlocal photon-photon interaction has not been observed in an atomic vapor so far and its microscopic origin is currently unknown.
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Contributor : Antonio Picozzi Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, October 12, 2021 - 5:11:01 PM
Last modification on : Monday, December 6, 2021 - 4:22:01 PM


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Pierre Azam, Adrien Fusaro, Quentin Fontaine, Josselin Garnier, Alberto Bramati, et al.. Dissipation-enhanced collapse singularity of a nonlocal fluid of light in a hot atomic vapor. Physical Review A, American Physical Society 2021, 104 (1), pp.013515. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevA.104.013515⟩. ⟨hal-03375392⟩



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