Physicists at the University of Bonn, a completely new source of light, the so-called Bose-Einstein condensate consisting of photons. Until recently, experts believed that it was impossible. This method, which in the future could be used to create new sources of light resembling lasers that work in the X-ray radiation. Among other uses of this technology, we can provide a more powerful computer chips. The scientists report on their findings in an upcoming issue of the journal Nature.
Rubidium atoms, which is extremely low and compact collected in sufficient quantities, become indistinguishable. They begin to behave like a single huge "super particle". Physicists call such a physical state of matter Bose-Einstein condensate.
In theory, this physical state is also characterized by "light particles," or photons. Unfortunately, the way of the physical realization of this idea is the fundamental problem: chilled photons simply disappear. Until a few months ago, it seemed impossible to compile a chilled light particles. But Bonn physicists Jan Klars, Julian Schmitt, Dr. Frank Veuinger and Professor Martin Ueytts done the impossible.
Temperature of the light?
When heated tungsten filament in light bulbs, it lights up — first red, then yellow, and finally bluish light. Therefore, for each color of light it is possible to calculate the "temperature of education." The blue color is warmer than red, but different from the radiance of the tungsten glow of iron, for example. To avoid such ambiguity, as the standard adopted theoretical object, the so-called black body. If this body is heated to a temperature of 5500 degrees, it will be the same color as sunlight at noon. In other words, the temperature of the light at noon is 5500 degrees Celsius or 5800 degrees Kelvin (the Kelvin scale in no negative values, because it starts from absolute zero, which is familiar to us in the Celsius scale is equal to minus 273 degrees, in addition to other than the initial benchmarks, these systems are similar to each other — enough to Celsius temperature add the number 273rd you know the temperature in degrees Kelvin).
When a black body is cooled, at some point, it ceases to emit light in the visible range, but instead, emits invisible infrared photons. At the same time, the radiation level is reduced. As the temperature drops, the number of photons will be reduced. That's why so hard to collect the required amount of cooling photons, which are required in order to form a Bose-Einstein condensate.
Still, researchers from Bonn succeeded, using two mirrors with high reflectivity, between which they kept a photon bouncing between them back and forth. Between the reflecting surface is a solution of the pigment molecules with which the photons are regularly encountered. In these collisions, the molecules 'swallowed' the photons and then 'spit' them back. "During this process, the photons were liquid temperature" — said Professor Ueytts. "They cooled the each other to room temperature, and they did not disappear in the process."
Condensate from the light
The Bonn physicists have increased the number of photons between the mirrors, arousing pigment solution using a laser. This allowed the team to concentrate enough to form a condensate of photons. Were added to form a "super-photon."
Photonic Bose-Einstein condensate — a completely new source of light, something resembling a laser. But he has a decisive advantage compared with lasers, "We are not yet able to make lasers that generate very short-wave light — for example in the ultraviolet or X-ray spectrum," — said Ian Klars. "But by using photonic Bose-Einstein condensate, it will be possible."
Particularly promising prospects opening up for chip manufacturers. They use laser light for etching logic circuits on semiconductor materials. The extent to which these structures are thin, among other things, limited the wavelength of light. The long-wavelength lasers are less adapted to the fine work, compared with short. This can be compared with trying to put a signature on a document paintbrushes.
X-ray radiation has a much shorter wavelength, compared to visible light. The idea is that X-ray lasers should therefore allow you to create much more complex circuits, all the same silicon substrate. This will create a new generation of high-performance chips, and therefore, more powerful computers for end users. This process can also be useful in other areas, such as spectroscopy and photovoltaics.