Thermodynamic limits for optomechanical systems with conservative potentials

TitleThermodynamic limits for optomechanical systems with conservative potentials
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsRagole, S, Xu, H, Lawall, J, Taylor, JM
JournalPhysical Review B
Date Published2017/11/13

The mechanical force from light – radiation pressure – provides an intrinsic nonlinear interaction. Consequently, optomechanical systems near their steady state, such as the canonical optical spring, can display non-analytic behavior as a function of external parameters. This non-analyticity, a key feature of thermodynamic phase transitions, suggests that there could be an effective thermodynamic description of optomechanical systems. Here we explicitly define the thermodynamic limit for optomechanical systems and derive a set of sufficient constraints on the system parameters as the mechanical system grows large. As an example, we show how these constraints can be satisfied in a system with Z2 symmetry and derive a free energy, allowing us to characterize this as an equilibrium phase transition.