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Coupled counterrotating polariton condensates in optically defined annular potentials.

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Dreismann, Alexander 
Cristofolini, Peter 
Balili, Ryan 
Christmann, Gabriel 
Pinsker, Florian 


Polariton condensates are macroscopic quantum states formed by half-matter half-light quasiparticles, thus connecting the phenomena of atomic Bose-Einstein condensation, superfluidity, and photon lasing. Here we report the spontaneous formation of such condensates in programmable potential landscapes generated by two concentric circles of light. The imposed geometry supports the emergence of annular states that extend up to 100 μm, yet are fully coherent and exhibit a spatial structure that remains stable for minutes at a time. These states exhibit a petal-like intensity distribution arising due to the interaction of two superfluids counterpropagating in the circular waveguide defined by the optical potential. In stark contrast to annular modes in conventional lasing systems, the resulting standing wave patterns exhibit only minimal overlap with the pump laser itself. We theoretically describe the system using a complex Ginzburg-Landau equation, which indicates why the condensate wants to rotate. Experimentally, we demonstrate the ability to precisely control the structure of the petal condensates both by carefully modifying the excitation geometry as well as perturbing the system on ultrafast timescales to reveal unexpected superfluid dynamics.



BEC, SQUID, interferometer, rings

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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/G060649/1)
European Commission (289968)
We acknowledge grants EPSRC EP/G060649/1, EU INDEX 289968, Spanish MEC (MAT2008-01555), Greek GSRT ARISTEIA programs Irakleitos II and Apollo and the Skolkovo Foundation.