RSPE Seminar

Harnessing collective behaviour of half-light half-matter

Elena Ostrovskaya

Dr. Elena Ostrovskaya
Nonlinear Physics Centre

Strong light-matter interactions in semiconductor microcavities give birth to exciton-polaritons – half-light half-matter quasiparticles. These quasiparticles can condense into a single macroscopically populated quantum state similar to a Bose-Einstein condensate of ultracold atoms, and display collective quantum behaviour, such as superfluidity. By its nature, exciton-polariton condensate is a driven, non-equilibrium quantum system that can be easily manipulated via structured gain and external potentials. Apart from being an attractive test bed for fundamental studies of non-equilibrium physics, microcavity exciton-polaritons may find applications in the emerging field of spinoptronic devices. I will give a general overview of the field, and talk about our joint theoretical and experimental effort in this new interdisciplinary research direction.

Dr Elena Ostrovskaya obtained her MSc in theoretical physics from Moscow State University, and PhD from Optical Sciences Centre at RSPE. Since then she has held an ARC APD, ARC ARF, and, currently, ARC Future Fellowship at RSPE. She has worked on quantum chaos theory, nonlinear optics and optical solitons, and nonlinear dynamics of matter-waves. Her current research field is polaritonics – physics of condensed exciton-polaritons in semiconductor microcavities.

Refreshments will be held in the Tea Room after the Seminar (around 5pm)


Date & time

Thu 15 Aug 2013, 4–5pm


Leonard Huxley Lecture Theatre


Staff, students and public welcome