Information about quantum phase transitions in conventional condensed matter systems, must be sought by probing the matter system itself. By contrast, we show that mixed matter-light systems offer a distinct advantage in that the photon field carries clear signatures of the associated quantum critical phenomena. Having derived an accurate, size-consistent Hamiltonian for the photonic field in the well-known Dicke model, we predict striking behavior of the optical squeezing and photon statistics near the phase transition. The corresponding dynamics resemble those of a degenerate parametric amplifier. Possible realizations include atom-cavity, nanostructure-cavity, and nanostructure-photonic-band-gap systems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)