Abstract

We show that atoms subject to laser radiation may form a non-additive many-body system on account of their long-range forces, when the atoms are trapped in the vicinity of a fiber with a Bragg grating. When the laser frequency is inside the grating’s bandgap but very close to its edge, we find that the range and strength of the laser-induced interaction becomes substantially enhanced, due to the large density of states near the edge, while the competing process of scattering to the fiber is inhibited. The dynamics of the atomic positions in this system conforms to a prominent model of statistical physics which exhibits slow relaxation. This suggests the possibility of using laser-illuminated atoms to study the characteristics of non-additive systems.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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