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Rikken G.L.J.A.,CNRS French National High Magnetic Field Laboratory | Van Tiggelen B.A.,CNRS Physics and Models in Condensed Media Laboratory
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

The Abraham force exerted by a time-dependent electromagnetic field on neutral, polarizable matter has two contributions. The one induced by a time-varying magnetic field and a static electric field is reported here for the first time. We discuss our results in the context of the radiative momentum in matter. Our observations are consistent with Abraham's and Nelson's versions for radiative momentum. © 2012 American Physical Society. Source

Rastelli G.,CNRS Physics and Models in Condensed Media Laboratory
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2012

Despite the fact that quantum tunneling has been studied since the advent of quantum mechanics, the literature appears to contain no simple (textbook) formula for tunneling in generic asymmetric double-well potentials. In the regime of strong localization, I derive a succinct analytical formula based on the Wentzel-Kramers-Brillouin semiclassical approach. Two different examples of asymmetric potentials are discussed: the cases when the two localized levels are degenerate and when they are not degenerate. For the first case, I also discuss a time-dependent problem showing the quantum Zeno effect. © 2012 American Physical Society. Source

Basko D.M.,CNRS Physics and Models in Condensed Media Laboratory
Annals of Physics | Year: 2011

The subject of this study is the long-time equilibration dynamics of a strongly disordered one-dimensional chain of coupled weakly anharmonic classical oscillators. It is shown that chaos in this system has a very particular spatial structure: it can be viewed as a dilute gas of chaotic spots. Each chaotic spot corresponds to a stochastic pump which drives the Arnold diffusion of the oscillators surrounding it, thus leading to their relaxation and thermalization. The most important mechanism of equilibration at long distances is provided by random migration of the chaotic spots along the chain, which bears analogy with variable-range hopping of electrons in strongly disordered solids. The corresponding macroscopic transport equations are obtained. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. Source

Whitney R.S.,CNRS Physics and Models in Condensed Media Laboratory
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2014

Machines are only Carnot efficient if they are reversible, but then their power output is vanishingly small. Here we ask, what is the maximum efficiency of an irreversible device with finite power output? We use a nonlinear scattering theory to answer this question for thermoelectric quantum systems, heat engines or refrigerators consisting of nanostructures or molecules that exhibit a Peltier effect. We find that quantum mechanics places an upper bound on both power output and on the efficiency at any finite power. The upper bound on efficiency equals Carnot efficiency at zero power output but decays with increasing power output. It is intrinsically quantum (wavelength dependent), unlike Carnot efficiency. This maximum efficiency occurs when the system lets through all particles in a certain energy window, but none at other energies. A physical implementation of this is discussed, as is the suppression of efficiency by a phonon heat flow. © 2014 American Physical Society. Source

Skipetrov S.E.,CNRS Physics and Models in Condensed Media Laboratory | Sokolov I.M.,Saint Petersburg State Polytechnic University
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2014

As discovered by Philip Anderson in 1958, strong disorder can block propagation of waves and lead to the localization of wavelike excitations in space. Anderson localization of light is particularly exciting in view of its possible applications for random lasing or quantum information processing. We show that, surprisingly, Anderson localization of light cannot be achieved in a random three-dimensional ensemble of point scattering centers that is the simplest and widespread model to study the multiple scattering of waves. Localization is recovered if the vector character of light is neglected. This shows that, at least for point scatterers, the polarization of light plays an important role in the Anderson localization problem. © 2014 American Physical Society. Source

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