Light-Mediated Collective Atomic Motion in an Optical Lattice Coupled to a Membrane
We have observed the effects of collective atomic motion in a one-dimensional optical lattice coupled to an optomechanical system. In this hybrid atom-optomechanical system, the lattice light generates a coupling between the lattice atoms as well as between atoms and a micromechanical membrane oscillator. For large atom numbers we observe an instability in the coupled system, resulting in large-amplitude atom-membrane oscillations. We show that this behavior can be explained by light-mediated collective atomic motion in the lattice. These results were published in Physical Review Letters 120, 073602.