Dicke-type phase transition in a multimode optomechanical system Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • We consider the "membrane in the middle" optomechanical model consisting of a laser pumped cavity which is divided in two by a flexible membrane that is partially transmissive to light and subject to radiation pressure. Steady state solutions at the mean-field level reveal that there is a critical strength of the light-membrane coupling above which there is a symmetry breaking bifurcation where the membrane spontaneously acquires a displacement either to the left or the right. This bifurcation bears many of the signatures of a second order phase transition and we compare and contrast it with that found in the Dicke model. In particular, by studying limiting cases and deriving dynamical critical exponents using the fidelity susceptibility method, we argue that the two models share very similar critical behaviour. For example, the obtained critical exponents indicate that they fall within the same universality class. Away from the critical regime we identify, however, some discrepancies between the two models. Our results are discussed in terms of experimentally relevant parameters and we evaluate the prospects for realizing Dicke-type physics in these systems.

publication date

  • January 2015