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1 LPMC - Laboratoire de physique de la matière condensée 2 ULB - Université Libre de Bruxelles Bruxelles 3 PhLAM - Physique des Lasers, Atomes et Molécules 4 INLN - Institut Non Linéaire de Nice Sophia-Antipolis 5 LICB - Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Carnot de Bourgogne

Abstract : We study theoretically and numerically the condensation and the thermalization of classical optical waves in an incoherently pumped passive Kerr cavity. We show that the dynamics of the cavity exhibits a turbulent behavior that can be described by the wave turbulence theory. A mean-field kinetic equation is derived, which reveals that, in its high finesse regime, the cavity behaves essentially as a conservative Hamiltonian system. In particular, the intracavity turbulent field is shown to relax adiabatically toward a thermodynamic equilibrium state of energy equipartition. As a consequence of this effect of wave thermalization, the incoherent optical field undergoes a process of condensation, characterized by the spontaneous emergence of a plane wave from the incoherently pumped cavity. The condensation process is an equilibrium phase transition that occurs below a critical value of the kinetic energy of the incoherent pump. In spite of the dissipative nature of the cavity dynamics, the condensate fraction of the high-finesse cavity field is found in quantitative agreement with the theory inherited from the purely conservative Hamiltonian nonlinear Schr¨odinger equation.

Autor: Claire Michel - Marc Haelterman - P. Suret - S. Randoux - R. Kaiser - Antonio Picozzi -



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