Josephson junctions are the basis for the most sensitive magnetic flux detectors, the definition of the unit volt by the Josephson voltage standard, and superconducting digital and quantum computing. They result from the coupling of two coherent quantum states, as they occur in superconductors, superfluids, atomic Bose Einstein Condensates (BECs), and exciton-polariton condensates. In their ground state, Josephson junctions are characterized by an intrinsic phase jump. Controlling this phase jump is fundamental for applications in computing. Here, we experimentally demonstrate controllable phase relations between photon BECs resulting from particle exchange in a thermo-optically tunable potential landscape. Our experiment realizes an optical analog of a controllable 0,π-Josephson junction. By connecting several junctions, we can study a reconfigurable 4-condensate system demonstrating the potential of our approach for analog spin-glass simulation. More generally, the combination of static and dynamic nanostructuring techniques introduced in our work offers a powerful platform for the implementation of adaptive optical systems for paraxial light in and outside of thermal equilibrium.
- photon Bose-Einstein condensates
- Josephson junction