(Phys.org) Researchers at the University of Chicago created “doppelganger” features of new energies by shaking electrons with lasers —a breakthrough that lets scientists create hybrid particles which are part-atom and part-light, with a wide variety of new behaviors.
The research is part of a greater effort in Assoc. Prof. Jonathan Simon’s lab to break down the walls between matter and light, in order to investigate their fundamental properties. In addition to learning about how materials behave at the quantum level, this work could one day help create more powerful computers or virtually “unhackable” quantum communications.
Having copies of an atomic state at multiple energies also offers exciting possibilities for optical frequency conversion—a key tool in creating secure quantum communication methods.