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Journal Article

Emergent Quasicrystalline Symmetry in Light-Induced Quantum Phase Transitions


Piazza,  Francesco
Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Max Planck Society;

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Mivehvar, F., Ritsch, H., & Piazza, F. (2019). Emergent Quasicrystalline Symmetry in Light-Induced Quantum Phase Transitions. Physical Review Letters, 123(21): 210604. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.123.210604.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-AE28-B
The discovery of quasicrystals with crystallographically forbidden rotational symmetries has changed the notion of the ordering in materials, yet little is known about the dynamical emergence of such exotic forms of order. Here we theoretically study a nonequilibrium cavity-QED setup realizing a zero-temperature quantum phase transition from a homogeneous Bose-Einstein condensate to a quasicrystalline phase via collective superradiant light scattering. Across the superradiant phase transition, collective light scattering creates a dynamical, quasicrystalline optical potential for the atoms. Remarkably, the quasicrystalline potential is " emergent" as its eightfold rotational symmetry is not present in the Hamiltonian of the system, rather appears solely in the low-energy states. For sufficiently strong two-body contact interactions between atoms, a quasicrystalline order is stabilized in the system, while for weakly interacting atoms the condensate is localized in one or few of the deepest minima of the quasicrystalline potential.