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Although for photon Bose–Einstein condensates the main mechanism of the observed photon–photon interaction has already been identified to be of a thermo-optic nature, its influence on the condensate dynamics is still unknown. Here a mean-field description of this effect is derived, which consists of an open-dissipative Schrödinger equation for the condensate wave function coupled to a diffusion equation for the temperature of the dye solution. With this system at hand, the lowest-lying collective modes of a harmonically trapped photon Bose–Einstein condensate are calculated analytically via a linear stability analysis. As a result, the collective frequencies and, thus, the strength of the effective photon–photon interaction turn out to strongly depend on the thermal diffusion in the cavity mirrors. In particular, a breakdown of the Kohn theorem is predicted, i.e. the frequency of the centre-of-mass oscillation is reduced due to the thermo-optic photon–photon interaction.

Based on the Lindblad master equation approach we obtain a detailed microscopic model of photons in a dye-filled cavity, which features condensation of light. To this end we generalise a recent non-equilibrium approach of Kirton and Keeling such that the dye-mediated contribution to the photon-photon interaction in the light condensate is accessible due to an interplay of coherent and dissipative dynamics. We describe the steady-state properties of the system by analysing the resulting equations of motion of both photonic and matter degrees of freedom. In particular, we discuss the existence of two limiting cases for steady states: photon Bose-Einstein condensate and laser-like. In the former case, we determine the corresponding dimensionless photon-photon interaction strength by relying on realistic experimental data and find a good agreement with previous theoretical estimates. Furthermore, we investigate how the dimensionless interaction strength depends on the respective system parameters.

We investigate, both experimentally and theoretically, the static geometric properties of a harmonically trapped Bose–Einstein condensate of 6Li2 molecules in laser speckle potentials. Experimentally, we measure the in situ column density profiles and the corresponding transverse cloud widths over many laser speckle realizations. We compare the measured widths with a theory that is non-perturbative with respect to the disorder and includes quantum fluctuations. Importantly, for small disorder strengths we find quantitative agreement with the perturbative approach of Huang and Meng, which is based on Bogoliubov theory. For strong disorder our theory perfectly reproduces the geometric mean of the measured transverse widths. However, we also observe a systematic deviation of the individual measured widths from the theoretically predicted ones. In fact, the measured cloud aspect ratio monotonously decreases with increasing disorder strength, while the theory yields a constant ratio. We attribute this discrepancy to the utilized local density approximation, whose possible failure for strong disorder suggests a potential future improvement.

Here we describe a weakly interacting Bose gas on a curved smooth manifold, which is embedded in the three-dimensional Euclidean space. To this end we start by considering a harmonic trap in the normal direction of the manifold, which confines the three-dimensional Bose gas in the vicinity of its surface. Following the notion of dimensional reduction as outlined in [L Salasnich et al, Phys. Rev. A 65, 043614 (2002)], we assume a large enough trap frequency so that the normal degree of freedom of the condensate wave function can be approximately integrated out. In this way we obtain an effective condensate wave function on the quasi-two-dimensional surface of the curved manifold, where the thickness of the cloud is determined self-consistently. For the particular case when the manifold is a sphere, our equilibrium results show how the chemical potential and the thickness of the cloud increase with the interaction strength. Furthermore, we determine within a linear stability analysis the low-lying collective excitations together with their eigenfrequencies, which turn out to reveal an instability for attractive interactions.