Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Controlling quantum tunneling with light: Novel particle opens door to taming mysteries of tunneling

Date:
April 5, 2012
Source:
University of Cambridge
Summary:
Scientists have used light to help push electrons through a classically impenetrable barrier. While quantum tunneling is at the heart of the peculiar wave nature of particles, this is the first time that it has been controlled by light.

Scientists have used light to help push electrons through a classically impenetrable barrier. While quantum tunneling is at the heart of the peculiar wave nature of particles, this is the first time that it has been controlled by light.
Credit: iscatel / Fotolia

Scientists at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge have used light to help push electrons through a classically impenetrable barrier. While quantum tunnelling is at the heart of the peculiar wave nature of particles, this is the first time that it has been controlled by light.

Their research is published 05 April, in the journal Science.

Particles cannot normally pass through walls, but if they are small enough quantum mechanics says that it can happen. This occurs during the production of radioactive decay and in many chemical reactions as well as in scanning tunnelling microscopes.

According to team leader, Professor Jeremy Baumberg, "the trick to telling electrons how to pass through walls, is to now marry them with light."

This marriage is fated because the light is in the form of cavity photons, packets of light trapped to bounce back and forth between mirrors which sandwich the electrons oscillating through their wall.

Research scientist Peter Cristofolini added: "The offspring of this marriage are actually new indivisible particles, made of both light and matter, which disappear through the slab-like walls of semiconductor at will."

One of the features of these new particles, which the team christened 'dipolaritons', is that they are stretched out in a specific direction rather like a bar magnet. And just like magnets, they feel extremely strong forces between each other.

Such strongly interacting particles are behind a whole slew of recent interest from semiconductor physicists who are trying to make condensates, the equivalent of superconductors and superfluids that travel without loss, in semiconductors.

Being in two places at once, these new electronic particles hold the promise of transferring ideas from atomic physics into practical devices, using quantum mechanics visible to the eye.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Cambridge. The original story is licensed under a Creative Commons license. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Peter Cristofolini, Gabriel Christmann, Simeon I. Tsintzos, George Deligeorgis, George Konstantinidis, Zacharias Hatzopoulos, Pavlos G. Savvidis, and Jeremy J. Baumberg. Coupling Quantum Tunneling with Cavity Photons. Science, 5 April 2012 DOI: 10.1126/science.1219010

Cite This Page:

University of Cambridge. "Controlling quantum tunneling with light: Novel particle opens door to taming mysteries of tunneling." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120405142156.htm>.
University of Cambridge. (2012, April 5). Controlling quantum tunneling with light: Novel particle opens door to taming mysteries of tunneling. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120405142156.htm
University of Cambridge. "Controlling quantum tunneling with light: Novel particle opens door to taming mysteries of tunneling." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120405142156.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) A solar cell that resembles a flower is offering a new take on green energy in Japan, where one scientist is searching for renewables that look good. Duration: 01:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins