Volume 83, Number 4, August 2008
Article Number 47011
Number of page(s) 6
Section Condensed Matter: Electronic Structure, Electrical, Magnetic and Optical Properties
Published online 19 August 2008
EPL, 83 (2008) 47011
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/83/47011

Photon and polariton fluctuations in arrays of QED-cavities

Davide Rossini1, Rosario Fazio1, 2 and Giuseppe Santoro1, 3, 4

1  International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) - Via Beirut 2-4, I-34014 Trieste, Italy, EU
2  NEST-CNR-INFM & Scuola Normale Superiore - Piazza dei Cavalieri 7, I-56126 Pisa, Italy, EU
3  CNR-INFM Democritos National Simulation Center - Via Beirut 2-4, I-34014 Trieste, Italy, EU
4  International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) - P.O. Box 586, I-34014 Trieste, Italy, EU

received 5 June 2008; accepted in final form 4 July 2008; published August 2008
published online 19 August 2008

We propose to detect the Mott insulator-superfluid quantum phase transition in an array of coupled cavities by studying the polariton and photon fluctuations in a block of linear dimension M (in units of the lattice constant of the array). We explicitly show this for a one-dimensional array; the analysis can be however extended to higher dimensions. In the Mott phase polariton fluctuations are independent of the block size. In the superfluid phase they grow logarithmically with M, the prefactor being related to the compressibility of the system. In the case of photon fluctuations, the critical behaviour is encoded in the subleading scaling with the block dimension, while the leading behaviour is linear in M and non-critical. Our results have been obtained by means of the density matrix renormalization group numerical algorithm.

71.36.+c - Polaritons (including photon-phonon and photon-magnon interactions).
73.43.Nq - Quantum phase transitions.
42.50.Ct - Quantum description of interaction of light and matter; related experiments.

© EPLA 2008