Dissipation-assisted prethermalization in long-range interacting atomic ensembles
Giovanna Morigi (Universität des Saarlandes, Allemagne)
We theoretically characterize the semiclassical dynamics of an ensemble of atoms after a sudden quench across a driven-dissipative second-order phase transition. The atoms are driven by a laser and interact via conservative and dissipative long-range forces mediated by the photons of a single- mode cavity. These forces can cool the motion and, above a threshold value of the laser intensity, induce spatial ordering. The relaxation dynamics exhibits a long prethermalizing behaviour which is first solely dominated by coherent long-range forces, and then by their interplay with dissipation. Remarkably, this final stage is orders of magnitude slower and exhibits correlations which are established by spatially-correlated noise and which go beyond mean-field. This behaviour challenges the common understanding of the role of dissipation in the relaxation dynamics. It further implies that cavity cooling of an atomic ensemble into the selforganized phase can require longer time scales than the typical duration of an experiment.