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Cavity-mediated interaction in a quantum gas - From supersolids to spin textures

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Merging quantum gases with cavity QED allows to engineer long-range interactions between the atoms. If these interactions are sufficiently strong, phase transitions to self-organized crystalline structures of matter and light can take place. We realize a phase transition from a superfluid gas to a supersolid, where a continuous spatial symmetry is broken. The real-time access to the intra-cavity light fields allows us to directly identify the associated phase and amplitude modes. In a different set of experiments, we exploit the vectorial polarizability of the atoms and observe the formation of a spin texture in a multi-level atomic Bose-Einstein condensate.

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