Excitations of optically driven atomic condensate in a cavity: theory of photodetection measurements
Recent experiments have demonstrated an open system realization of the Dicke quantum phase transition in the motional degrees of freedom of an optically driven Bose–Einstein condensate in a cavity. Relevant collective excitations of this light–matter system are polaritonic in nature, allowing access to the quantum critical behavior of the Dicke model through light leaking out of the cavity. This opens the path to using photodetection-based quantum optical techniques to study the dynamics and excitations of this elementary quantum critical system. We first discuss the photon flux observed at the cavity face and find that it displays a different scaling law near criticality than that obtained from the mean-field theory for the equivalent closed system. Next, we study the second-order correlation measurements of photons leaking out of the cavity. Finally, we discuss a modulation technique that directly captures the softening of polaritonic excitations. Our analysis takes into account the effect of the finite size of the system, which may result in an effective symmetry-breaking term.