The laser beam is twisted into a spiral, to create a quantum “swirls”

The laser beam is twisted into a spiral, to create a quantum “swirls”

Physicists from the Australian National University have developed a technology twist the laser beam into a spiral, and used the beam to create a “whirlpool” hybrid light-matter particles called polaritons. Polaritons – it kvazchiastitsy having both properties of light and matter. For a long time scientists were only able to create these quasiparticles, but to control and manipulate them failed by any methods available. But such control behavior of polaritons is a very promising area, with the help of the quasiparticles can create a completely new technology, electronics is usually associated with laser or fiber optic technology.

Polaritons are formed on the surface of semiconductor materials, when the laser light begins to specifically interact with free electrons and electron vacancies in the crystal lattice, so-called electron holes, which are carriers of positive electric charge. Emerging with the interaction forces are so great that the majority of the properties of the formation of polaritons can not be distinguished from the same formations of ordinary matter.Scientists have created a curved beam of laser light is conducted through the opening, the mask whose faces had a spiral sliced, like cutting in the barrel of a gun. The height of this step and slicing were calculated so that due to the influence of certain optical phenomena, the beam at the exit of the holes was also twisted spirally. This beam was directed to mikrovpadiny sandwiched between two reflectors on the surface of a semiconductor material of gallium arsenide deposited on an aluminum substrate.


“Before, we receive vortex formation of polaritons appear randomly. The individual particles are constantly trying to move to create a” whirlpool “in the opposite direction” – says Dr. Robert Dole (Dr. Robert Dall), who conducted the experimental part of the project – “However, through the use of a spiral mask, structuring the laser light in a certain way, we have managed to create a system, all particles that prefer one direction. And these particles form a single, stable vortex, the direction and speed of which we can adjust according to our will. “

Created by scientists “whirlpools” polaritons are one of the patterns of behavior of quantum liquid in which all particles are combined into so-called Bose-Einstein condensate. “These vortices are nothing more than a” window “of the reach of our quantum world. They can be used to create highly sensitive sensors of magnetic fields, elements of superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDS, Superconducting QUantum Interference Devices) and much, much more,” – says Dr. Elena Ostrovskaya, who led the research group, – “In addition, these effects can be used to transmit quantum information in future systems of quantum computing and quantum communication.”

“Polyaritonika, an area in which we study and use the properties of polaritons, is one of the fastest growing areas of science today” – says Dr. Ostrovsky – “Understanding all the prospects that promises humanity the use of polaritons, we are going to organize a network of laboratories with multiple working in these research groups, research which surely will bring enough tangible results. “

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