(Phys.org) Jigang Wang, a professor of physics and astronomy at Iowa State University whose research has been supported by the Army Research Office, demonstrated terahertz light can be used to control some of the essential quantum properties of superconducting states, including macroscopic supercurrent flowing, broken symmetry and accessing certain very high frequency quantum oscillations thought to be forbidden by symmetry.
The findings could have very practical applications. “Light-induced supercurrents chart a path forward for electromagnetic design of emergent materials properties and collective coherent oscillations for quantum engineering applications,” reports Wang. The discovery could help physicists “create crazy-fast quantum computers by nudging supercurrents,” Wang wrote in a summary of the research team’s findings.
The researchers wrote, “We believe that it is fair to say that the present study opens a new arena of light-wave superconducting electronics via terahertz quantum control for many years to come.”