New research has indicated that light can exist in a form that has never been before discovered. What makes it even more interesting is that it could alter the way that scientists currently observe quantum physical phenomena.
The New Form Requires By Binding It To An Electron.
As noted by Imperial College London, the research suggests that light can be made into a new form. In order to do this, it is bound to a single electron. This result is a combination of properties of both the light and the electron. The study has gone on to say that the coupled particles can lead to circuits that work with packages of photons instead of electrons.
How Light Normally Works vs. How The New Light Form Is Achieved
In the contrary, light interacts with an entire host of electrons present in normal materials. These electrons are normally present both on the surface and within the material. The new form, however, is obtained through theoretical physics.
By using theoretical physics to model how light works, as well as a class of materials known as topological insulators, researchers have come to the conclusion that it is possible for just one electron to interact with light. The result is a coupling that merges the properties of both particles. So instead of moving within a straight line, the light will follow the electron’s path. Sometimes, this means tracing the surface of the material.
How The Study Worked
In the paper, Dr. Vincenzo Giannini and his team modeled this interaction around a nanoparticle that was made of a topological insulator. To put things into perspective, a nanoparticle is less than 0.00000001 meters in diameter. The models proved that the light, which took the property of the electron, circled around the particle. In addition, the electron took on some properties of light.
This particular electron was able to travel onward despite surface imperfections. Usually, electrons travel around materials but will stop when faced with a defect. But by coupling with light, this was no longer an issue.
Moving Forward With The New Discovery
The publication also stated that the new light form would allow researchers to study quantum physical phenomena. This is what govern particles smaller than atoms. Moreover, it will allow scientists to study this quantum physical phenomenon on a visible scale. What used to be impossible has once again been made a reality by science.
“The results of this research will have a huge impact on the way we conceive light,” Giannini said. “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.”