Researchers Discovered New Form of Light by Coupling Photon Pair

Researchers Discovered New Form of Light by Coupling Photon Pair

Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard have created new form of light by integrating group of three photons to develop new photonic matter.

The study was published in journal Science in February 2018. Researchers created form of light, which utilizes photon interaction. This development can have major applications in quantum computing and Jedi wannabes. Photons can travel at the speed of light (300,000 kilometers per second). Research team reported that bound photons acquire a fraction of an electron’s mass and travel 100,000 times slower.

“In a vacuum or in regular materials, photons do not interact with each other, and mostly just pass through one another,” Vladan Vuletic, Lester Wolfe Professor of Physics at MIT. “Using a laser-cooled atomic gas we have created a medium where one photon interacts very strongly with another — so strongly that they can, in fact, bind together, and travel together at a speed 100,000 times smaller than the regular speed of light in vacuum. We have found that not only can two photons bind together, but also three. This is analogous to two oxygen molecules forming molecular diatomic oxygen (O2), but also ozone (O3). This can be thought of as forming tiny droplets of light.”

Researcher believe that light is a good source for information transfer through fibers. However, light can only transfer information without interactions. This study can add computing to functions of light. The team is working on developing optical transistors for direct switching of light. Such optical transistors could be potentially faster than conventional transistor. They also require less power, which is added advantage. However, further research is required to bring this technology in practical use.

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