Thèse - Florent Cottier

24/01/2019 Visio from Brazil at Sophia

Light-atom interaction: mean-field approach and intensity fluctuations

In this thesis, we investigate the coherent scattering of light propagating in a random
medium. We are interested in phenomena like the super- and subradiance and Anderson localization that are related to waves interferences and spatial disorder. However, the fundamental difference between subradiance and Anderson localization still needs to be clarified. This thesis gives new elements for the understanding of these
phenomena and we present a new method to observe Anderson localization. A mean-field model that does not contain disorder is developed, and we show that super- and subradiance do not require disorder whereas Anderson localization does. In this theoretical work, the coupling between the light and many atoms is reduced to a coupling matrix between the atoms by tracing over the degrees of freedom of the light, which results in a linear problem for the atomic dipoles. The study of the eigenvalues and eigenmodes of this matrix then allows to determine the super- and subradiant modes, and to probe the Anderson localization phase transition with a scaling analysis. Furthermore, the link to the experiment is realized by showing that the intensity fluctuations present an increase at the localization transition. The system is studied in the steady-state regime when the medium is continuously charged by a laser until reaches a stationary regime, and the decay dynamics, when the laser is swished off, so the cloud releases the energy stored. Finally, we present a preliminary work that shows that the diagonal disorder might be a good strategy to reach Anderson localization.

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