The fascination of macroscopic quantum coherence formed in a degernate Bose gas drives the worldwide work on atomic Bose-Einstein condensates. Semi-conductor polaritons are another promising system to explore the physics of degenerate Bose gases in a stronger interaction regime. It is also a system easily produced and probed through optical methods. In this work we present the first obsercation of the onset of a qunatum coherence formed out of an initially thermal population of polaritons in a microcavity quantum well system.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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