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Workshop on Open Questions on Multiple Scattering of Light in Cold Atomic Gases

by MajuLab editor - published on , updated on

Sponsored by GDR 3577 Atomes Froids and GDR 3219 MésoImage

Organised by

  • Antoine Browaeys (UMR 8501 LCF ; CNRS, IOGS, UPS)
  • Robin Kaiser (UMR 7335 INLN ; CNRS, UNS)
  • Christian Miniatura (UMI 3654 MajuLab ; CNRS, UNS, NUS, NTU)


The scattering of light by atomic ensembles looks like a well understood problem. However, recent theoretical and experimental work, initiated mostly by the participants in this conference, indicate that the situation is much more subtle than previously thought. This is particularly in dense atomic clouds when light is quasi-resonant with atomic internal transitions. In this regime the induced dipoles couple strongly and become correlated. For hot atomic vapors, where optical transition lines are inhomogeneously broadened, mean field approaches are known to be essentially valid even if they do not take into account these dipole correlations. For cold atomic ensembles, where optical transition lines are homogeneously broadened, they are clearly are insufficient and one has to resort to more accurate microscopic theories. However, even these more advanced approaches do take into account the dipole correlations, they fail to reproduce in detail recent experimental results obtained cold atomic samples. Indeed a number of effects, such as the internal Zeeman structure, or the role of induced forces, are in fact ignored. Furthermore they are also only valid at very low light intensities. The high-intensity regime requires a full quantum treatment that seems, for all practical purposes, out of reach of current existing theories. By gathering experimentalists and theorists experts in the field, this workshop aims at developing a strategy to advance our understanding on these open questions in the field of resonant light scattering in cold and dense atomic samples.


8h45 – 9h00 : Welcome of participants

9h00 – 9h40 : Light scattering by a dense microscopic cold atomic cloud : comparison between experiment and theory, Antoine Browaeys (LCF) 9h40 – 10h20 : Experimental phenomena related to internal structure: observation and open questions, Robin Kaiser (INLN)

10h20 -10h40 : Coffee/Tea Break

10h40 – 11h20 : Light scattering by a dense slab of ultracold atoms, Jérôme Beugnon (LKB) 11h20 – 12h : Coupling cold atoms to nanofibers, Julien Laurat (LKB)

12h00 – 13h30 : Lunch Break

13h30 – 14h30 : Theoretical aspects of multiple scattering, Thomas Wellens (University of Freiburg) 14h30 – 15h10 : Internal structure : Lessons from mesoscopy, Christian Miniatura (MajuLab) 15h10 – 15h50 : Recurrent scattering, Dominique Delande (LKB)

15h50 – 16h20 : Coffee/Tea Break

16h20 – 17h00 : Cooperative emission of light by cold atoms, David Wilkowski (MajuLab) 17h00 – 18h00 : Round Table, Concluding Remarks