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Thermodynamics and Hydrodynamics of cavity light

Simon Pigeon

à 11h, en salle C. BROT

Light is a fascinating phenomenon. It has been since the beginning of the XXth century described as a gas of non-interacting particles : photons. Confined between two mirrors in a cavity, photons acquire an effective mass and, due to imperfect mirrors a finite lifetime. Consequently this gas exchanges constantly with its environment through dissipation. Based on methods borrowed from both open quantum system and statistical physics, the thermodynamics of these exchanges can be resolved to reveal its true stochastic nature as I will present in a first part [1,2], paving the way to the definition of fluctuation theorem in quantum optics behind others. Moreover, from light-matter interaction, effective photon interactions can be engineered. In this context cavity light behave as a fluid and more surprisingly as a quantum fluid [3]. In a second part, I will explore this hydrodynamical analogy illustrating how the underlying driven-dissipative nature of quantum fluids of light modifies their properties as well as the topological excitations that may form in them [4].

[1] S. Pigeon, L. Fusco, A. Xuereb, G. De Chiara and M. Paternostro. “Thermodynamics of trajectories of a quantum harmonic oscillator coupled to N baths,” Physical Review A 92 013844 (2015).

[2] S. Pigeon, L. Fusco, A. Xuereb, G. De Chiara and M. Paternostro. “Thermodynamics of trajectories and local fluctuation theorems for harmonic quantum networks,” New Journal of Physics 18 013009 (2016).

[3] A. Amo, S. Pigeon, D. Sanvitto, V. G. Sala, R. Hivet, I. Carusotto, F. Pisanello, G. Lem ́enager, R. Houdr ́e, E. Giacobino, C. Ciuti and A. Bramati, “Polariton superfluids reveal quantum hydrodynamic solitons,” Science 332 1167 (2011).

[4] S. Pigeon, “Sustained propagation and topological excitation control in polariton superfluid,” arXiv :1612.07028