Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Intriguing particles emerge when two photons couple

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IMAGE: Photon-photon polaritons in the view of microresonators more

Credit: University of Bath

Scientists at the University of Bath in the UK have found a way to bind two photons of different colors together, paving the way for significant advancements in quantum electrodynamics – the field of science that describes how light and matter interact. Over time, the team’s findings are likely to impact developments in optical and quantum communication, as well as precision measurements of frequency, time, and distance.

APPLE AND WAVE: THEY HAVE A MASS

An apple falling from a tree has speed and mass which together give it momentum. The “energy of the apple” derived from movement depends on the momentum and mass of the fruit.

Most people find the concept of momentum and energy (and therefore mass) easy to grasp when paired with solid objects. But the idea that non-material objects, such as light waves (everything from sunlight to laser radiation), also have mass surprises many. Among physicists, however, this is a well known fact. This apparently paradoxical idea that waves have mass marks the place where quantum physics and physics …

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