Observation of a non-Hermitian phase transition in an optical quantum gas

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Science  02 Apr 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6537, pp. 88-91
DOI: 10.1126/science.abe9869

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A dissipative quantum gas of light

Our textbook understanding of quantum systems tends to come from modeling these systems isolated from the environment. However, an emerging focus is understanding how many-body quantum systems behave when interacting with their surroundings and how they subsequently become dissipative, or non-Hermitian, systems. Öztürk et al. formed a quantum condensate of light by trapping photons in an optical cavity, a system that is naturally dissipative. By altering the trapping conditions, they demonstrated that the system provides a powerful platform with which to explore the complex dynamics and phase transitions occurring in dissipative quantum systems.

Science, this issue p. 88

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