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Publication# Optomechanical response of a strongly interacting Fermi gas

Jean-Philippe Brantut, Victor Youri Helson, Hideki Konishi, Kevin Etienne Robert Roux, Timo Zwettler

*AMER PHYSICAL SOC, *2022

Journal paper

Journal paper

Abstract

We study a Fermi gas with strong, tunable interactions dispersively coupled to a high-finesse cavity. Upon probing the system along the cavity axis, we observe a strong optomechanical Kerr nonlinearity originating from the density response of the gas to the intracavity field and measure it as a function of interaction strength. We find that the zero-frequency density response function of the Fermi gas increases by a factor of two from the Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer to the Bose-Einstein condensate regime. The results are in quantitative agreement with a theory based on operator-product expansion, expressing the density response in terms of universal functions of the interactions, the contact, and the internal energy of the gas. This provides an example of a driven-dissipative, strongly correlated system with a strong nonlinear response, opening up perspectives for the sensing of weak perturbations or inducing long-range interactions in Fermi gases.

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Jean-Philippe Brantut, Victor Youri Helson, Hideki Konishi, Kevin Etienne Robert Roux

Strong quantum correlations in matter are responsible for some of the most extraordinary properties of materials, from magnetism to high-temperature superconductivity, but their integration in quantum devices requires a strong, coherent coupling with photons, which still represents a formidable technical challenge in solid state systems. In cavity quantum electrodynamics, quantum gases such as Bose-Einstein condensates or lattice gases have been strongly coupled with light. However, neither Fermionic quantum matter, comparable to electrons in solids, nor atomic systems with controlled interactions, have thus far been strongly coupled with photons. Here we report on the strong coupling of a quantum-degenerate unitary Fermi gas with light in a high finesse cavity. We map out the spectrum of the coupled system and observe well resolved dressed states, resulting from the strong coupling of cavity photons with each spin component of the gas. We investigate spin-balanced and spin-polarized gases and find quantitative agreement with ab initio calculation describing light-matter interaction. Our system offers complete and simultaneous control of atom-atom and atom-photon interactions in the quantum degenerate regime, opening a wide range of perspectives for quantum simulation.

2020This thesis presents the first cavity quantum electrodynamics experiments performed with a degenerate gas of $^6$Li with strong atom-atom interactions. The first part of this manuscript describes the design and the building of the apparatus that has been especially developed to bring together a high-finesse optical cavity and a strongly interacting Fermi gas. I described how the cavity and all the laser-cooling procedure can be realized in the same vacuum chamber, thus speeding up the production cycle of the degenerate Fermi gas.This new experimental apparatus is the first of its kind combining these two field of quantum physics. Placing a quantum gas of Fermions within an optical resonator gives a important technical advantages, allowing for the fast, all-optical production of a degenerate gas of $^6$Li. We apply an technique that make it possible to modify the longitudinal structure of the cavity trap to cancel its lattice structure. It increases the phase space density after the evaporative cooling leading to a ultracold gas at temperature lower than ten percent of the Fermi temperature. We describe how magnetic field allows us to tune the interatomic interactions, making use of the broad Feshbach resonance of $^6$Li at $832$ G and how we characterize the thermodynamic properties of the ultracold Fermi gas. The direct observation of phase separation for a spin-imbalanced Fermi gas between a fully paired region at the cloud center, surrounded by a spin-polarized shell experimentally proves the apparition of superfluidity at low enough temperature.The first experiment showing the strong coupling between the cavity photons and the strongly interacting Fermi gas is shown in this manuscript. The observation of large avoided-crossings when performing cavity transmission spectroscopy experiment are the experimental smoking gun of the strong light-matter coupling regime. We observe the expected scaling of the light-matter coupling strength with the number of atoms in the gas, proving the coherent coupling of the atoms with the cavity field.The thirs part of this manuscript presents the first cavity quantum electrodynamics experiment where a pairs of atoms couple to the cavity photons, forming a new dressed state: the pair-polariton. This dressed state inherits from its atomic part the characteristics of the many-body physics of the strongly interacting Fermi gas. We confirm experimentally that the properties of the short-range two-body correlation function, know as Tan's contact, can directly be measured optically, on the pair-polariton transmission spectrum. We observe the coherent coupling of the ground state Fermion pairs with the cavity photons and use the pair-polariton to perform single shot, real-time, weakly destructive measurement of the short range two body correlation function. This new measurement of Tan's contact allows to follow in-time the evolution of a single system, contrasting with existing techniques.The last part of this thesis will show experiment carried far in the dispersive regime, where both the cavity resonance and the probe laser frequency are far detuned from the atomic resonance. We will discuss how we can, in this regime, measure the atom number evolution in-time, with a weak destructivity. We show that optical non-linearity emerges and depends on the atom-atom interaction strength. Last we implement a pump not aligned with the cavity axis that allows to create long-range interactions between atoms.

Jean-Philippe Brantut, Victor Youri Helson, Hideki Konishi, Kevin Etienne Robert Roux

Strong quantum correlations in matter are responsible for some of the most extraordinary properties of material, from magnetism to high-temperature superconductivity, but their integration in quantum devices requires a strong, coherent coupling with photons, which still represents a formidable technical challenge in solid state systems. In cavity quantum electrodynamics, quantum gases such as Bose-Einstein condensates or lattice gases have been strongly coupled with light. However, neither Fermionic quantum matter, comparable to electrons in solids, nor atomic systems with controlled interactions, have thus far been strongly coupled with photons. Here we report on the strong coupling of a quantum-degenerate unitary Fermi gas with light in a high finesse cavity. We map out the spectrum of the coupled system and observe well resolved dressed states, resulting from the strong coupling of cavity photons with each spin component of the gas. We investigate spin-balanced and spin-polarized gases and find quantitative agreement with ab-initio calculation describing light-matter interaction. Our system offers complete and simultaneous control of atom-atom and atom-photon interactions in the quantum degenerate regime, opening a wide range of perspectives for quantum simulation.

2019