Frustration and glassiness in spin models with cavity-mediated interactions

Sarang Gopalakrishnan, Benjamin L. Lev, Paul M. Goldbart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


We show that the effective spin-spin interaction between three-level atoms confined in a multimode optical cavity is long-ranged and sign changing, like the RKKY interaction; therefore, ensembles of such atoms subject to frozen-in positional randomness can realize spin systems having disordered and frustrated interactions. We argue that, whenever the atoms couple to sufficiently many cavity modes, the cavity-mediated interactions give rise to a spin glass. In addition, we show that the quantum dynamics of cavity-confined spin systems is that of a Bose-Hubbard model with strongly disordered hopping but no on-site disorder; this model exhibits a random-singlet glass phase, absent in conventional optical-lattice realizations. We briefly discuss experimental signatures of the realizable phases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number277201
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number27
StatePublished - Dec 29 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Frustration and glassiness in spin models with cavity-mediated interactions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this