Speaker: David Snoke (Pittsburgh University)
Polaritons are bosonic quasiparticles in solids. In specially designed structures with microcavities, they can be tailored to have a very light effective mass (much less than a free electron mass) and to have a weak repulsive interaction. In the past few years, a number of experimental groups have shown results consistent with Bose-Einstein condensation of polaritons. The main complication is the short lifetime, which gives incomplete thermalization. Professor Snoke will present results from his team's experiments with two-dimensional harmonic traps for polaritons, which are analogous to Bose-Einstein condensation of atoms in traps.