Semiclassical theory of synchronization-assisted cooling
AbstractWe analyze the dynamics leading to radiative cooling of an atomic ensemble confined inside an optical cavity when the atomic dipolar transitions are incoherently pumped and can synchronize. Our study is performed in the semiclassical regime and assumes that cavity decay is the largest rate in the system dynamics. We identify three regimes characterizing the cooling. At first hot atoms are individually cooled by the cavity friction forces. After this stage, the atoms' center-of-mass motion is further cooled by the coupling to the internal degrees of freedom while the dipoles synchronize. In the latest stage dipole-dipole correlations are stationary and the center-of-mass motion is determined by the interplay between friction and dispersive forces due to the coupling with the collective dipole. We analyze this asymptotic regime by means of a mean-field model and show that the width of the momentum distribution can be of the order of the photon recoil. Furthermore, the internal excitations oscillate spatially with the cavity standing wave forming an antiferromagnetic-like order.