Fock-space exploration by angle-resolved transmission through a quantum diffraction grating of cold atoms in an optical lattice


Light transmission or diffraction from different quantum phases of cold atoms in an optical lattice has recently come up as a useful tool to probe such ultracold atomic systems. The periodic nature of the optical lattice potential closely resembles the structure of a diffraction grating in real space but is loaded with a strongly correlated quantum many-body state which interacts with the incident electromagnetic wave, a feature that controls the nature of light transmission or dispersion through such quantum media. In this paper we show that, as one varies the relative angle between the cavity mode and the optical lattice, the peak of the transmission spectrum through such cavities also changes, which reflects the statistical distribution of the atoms in the illuminated sites. Consequently, the angle-resolved transmission spectrum of such quantum diffraction gratings can provide a plethora of information about the Fock-space structure of the many-body quantum state of ultracold atoms in such an optical cavity that can be explored in current state-of-the-art experiments.

Contact details: 

Adhip Agarwala, Madhurima Nath, Jasleen Lugani, Prof. K. Thyagarajan, and Dr. Sankalpa Ghosh

Department of Physics