New research suggests that it is possible to create a new form of light by binding light to a single electron, combining the properties of both.
According to the scientists behind the study, from Imperial College London, the coupled light and electron would have properties that could lead to circuits that work with packages of light – photons – instead of electrons.
The results of this research will have a huge impact on the way we conceive light.
– Dr Vincenzo Giannini
It would also allow researchers to study quantum physical phenomena, which govern particles smaller than atoms, on a visible scale.
In normal materials, light interacts with a whole host of electrons present on the surface and within the material. But by using theoretical physics to model the behaviour of light and a recently-discovered class of materials known as topological insulators, Imperial researchers have found that it could interact with just one electron on the surface.
This would create a coupling that merges some of the properties of the light and the electron. Normally, light travels in a straight line, but when bound to the electron it would instead follow its path, tracing the surface of the material.
In the study, published today in Nature Communications, Dr Vincenzo Giannini and colleagues modelled this interaction around a nanoparticle – a small sphere below 0.00000001 metres in diameter – made of a topological insulator.
Their models showed that as well as the light taking the property of the electron and circulating the particle, the electron would also take on some of the properties of the light.
Normally, as electrons are travelling along materials, such as electrical circuits, they will stop when faced with a defect. However, Dr Giannini’s team discovered that even if there were imperfections in the surface of the nanoparticle, the electron would still be able to travel onwards with the aid of the light.
If this could be adapted into photonic circuits, they would be more robust and less vulnerable to disruption and physical imperfections.
Dr Giannini said: “The results of this research will have a huge impact on the way we conceive light. Topological insulators were only discovered in the last decade, but are already providing us with new phenomena to study and new ways to explore important concepts in physics.”
Dr Giannini added that it should be possible to observe the phenomena he has modelled in experiments using current technology, and the team is working with experimental physicists to make this a reality.
He believes that the process that leads to the creation of this new form of light could be scaled up so that the phenomena could observed much more easily.
Currently, quantum phenomena can only be seen when looking at very small objects or objects that have been super-cooled, but this could allow scientists to study these kinds of behaviour at room temperature.
The Latest on: New form of light
via Google News
The Latest on: New form of light
- Bears young LB shows glimpse of last year’s formon November 20, 2019 at 12:01 am
there was at least a glimmer of light portending the possibility that the defense found one. While questions about the Bears offense continued to multiply at a dizzying pace, Sunday night may have ...
- Sri Lanka’s new president may struggle to form governmenton November 19, 2019 at 2:42 am
“I will form a new government that can implement my policies ... but winning their confidence will be far from easy. A few passing clouds. Low 48F. Winds light and variable. 49°F A few passing clouds.
- Scientists Rule Out A Form Of Ultra-Light Dark Matteron November 18, 2019 at 3:24 pm
The axion also has not been discovered but it could fit the bill as the real form of dark matter ... of Steven Weinberg and Frank Wilczek realized that this new theory predicted a particle now called ...
- MIT, Harvard Physicists Create New Form of Lighton November 13, 2019 at 6:35 am
Which is why it’s such a big deal that the team—led by Vladan Vuletic of MIT and Mikhail Lukin from Harvard—observed groups of three photons effectively sticking together to form a new kind of matter ...
- New form of light discovered, may change the future of fiber opticson November 12, 2019 at 4:00 pm
Physicists in Ireland have turned quantum mechanics on its head. They have discovered a new form of light that challenges the very nature of how we have viewed and studied light up until now. It also ...
- Conte gets green light to form new Italy govton August 29, 2019 at 2:53 pm
Salvini had wanted fresh polls to capitalise on his party’s success in European elections but his plan backfired as 5-Star and the PD, lagging the League in opinion surveys, set aside their ...
- Italy’s Conte gets green light to form new governmenton August 29, 2019 at 2:42 pm
set aside their long-standing antipathy to form a government. Mr. Conte, who told reporters he would present a cabinet list to the President in the coming days, said his priority was to draft a 2020 ...
- UPDATE 4-Italy's Conte gets green light to form new governmenton August 29, 2019 at 5:41 am
Markets rally on hopes of new government (Updates market reaction ... set aside their long-standing antipathy to form a government. Italy's 10-year borrowing costs fell to an all-time low at auction ...
- Italy's president gives Conte green light to form new governmenton August 29, 2019 at 12:14 am
Salvini had wanted fresh polls to capitalize on his party's success in European elections but his plan backfired as 5-Star and the PD, lagging the League in opinion surveys, set aside their ...
via Bing News