Proposed method to cause an atom to emit the same light as another atom

February 27, 2017 by Bob Yirka report
The control fields Ea(t), Eb(t), Ec(t), Ed(t) and Ee(t) induce the same nonlinear optical response Y (t) on: closed quantum systems (a) and (b), (c) an open quantum system, (d) an closed classical system and (e) an open classical system. In (a) and (b), the system is a hydrogen atom initially prepared in the ground and first excited states, respectively. Eb(t), Ed(t) and Ee(t) are scaled for comparison with the first field E(t) that is applied to a model of an argon atom to produce the induced dipolar spectra Y (t) ,which is used for tracking in the remaining cases. Credit: arXiv:1611.02699 [quant-ph]

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers at Princeton University has found a way to cause any atom to mimic the light emissions of any other atom. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the team reveals how they uncovered this trick and suggest some applications that might benefit from its use.

Scientists in a variety of fields measure the emitted from atoms when their electrons move between to identify the presence of an element—astronomers, for example, can detect the presence of argon in a star by noting the unique signature of light that it emits. But it turns out that under certain circumstances, atoms can be induced to impersonate other atoms. In this effort, the researchers found that by manipulating the light that was fired at a given atom, they could cause the atom to emit the signature of any other atom.

They could cause an argon atom, as just one example, to emit the same wavelength of light as a hydrogen atom by shaping the pulse of that was fired at the atom. More importantly, the same technique could also be used to control the quantum state of the targeted atom. Using light to make atoms do things is not new, of course; quantum control has been used, for example, to cause chemicals to react in desired ways for quite some time. But using light to control the state of an atom could provide the basis for new applications—molecules that emit different colors, for example, to distinguish them in biological processes.

The researchers started with the idea of controlling the state of an atom using light by building a model that demonstrated that a single pulse of light could bring about any one of an infinite number of atomic states, some of which would be ionized—and changing an atom's state in a certain way, it was noted, could cause a change in the wavelength of light that it emitted. To calculate which pulse shape would produce the desired wavelength, the researchers used the Schrödinger equation. It should be noted that the idea is still theoretical; the researchers did not actually cause any to mimic others—that will require work by an experimental team.

Study co-authors from left to right: Renan Cabrera, Herschel Rabitz, Denys Bondar, and Andre Campos Credit: C. Todd Reichart, Department of Chemistry at Princeton University

Explore further: When quantum scale affects the way atoms emit and absorb particles of light

More information: Andre G. Campos et al. How to Make Distinct Dynamical Systems Appear Spectrally Identical, Physical Review Letters (2017). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.083201 , On Arxiv: https://arxiv.org/abs/1611.02699

ABSTRACT
We show that a laser pulse can always be found that induces a desired optical response from an arbitrary dynamical system. As illustrations, driving fields are computed to induce the same optical response from a variety of distinct systems (open and closed, quantum and classical). As a result, the observed induced dipolar spectra without detailed information on the driving field are not sufficient to characterize atomic and molecular systems. The formulation may also be applied to design materials with specified optical characteristics. These findings reveal unexplored flexibilities of nonlinear optics.

Press release

Related Stories

Team extends the lifetime of atoms using a mirror

October 13, 2015

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have succeeded in an experiment where they get an artificial atom to survive ten times longer than normal by positioning the atom in front of a mirror. The findings were recently ...

The sound of an atom has been captured

September 11, 2014

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology are first to show the use of sound to communicate with an artificial atom. They can thereby demonstrate phenomena from quantum physics with sound taking on the role of light. ...

Recommended for you

Quantum internet goes hybrid

November 22, 2017

In a recent study published in Nature, ICFO researchers led by ICREA Prof. Hugues de Riedmatten report an elementary "hybrid" quantum network link and demonstrate photonic quantum communication between two distinct quantum ...

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

November 22, 2017

Researchers have discovered that dense ensembles of quantum spins can be created in diamond with high resolution using an electron microscopes, paving the way for enhanced sensors and resources for quantum technologies.

Study shows how to get sprayed metal coatings to stick

November 21, 2017

When bonding two pieces of metal, either the metals must melt a bit where they meet or some molten metal must be introduced between the pieces. A solid bond then forms when the metal solidifies again. But researchers at MIT ...

Imaging technique unlocks the secrets of 17th century artists

November 21, 2017

The secrets of 17th century artists can now be revealed, thanks to 21st century signal processing. Using modern high-speed scanners and the advanced signal processing techniques, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology ...

3 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

swordsman
not rated yet Feb 27, 2017
Very good approach. In accordance with Planck's quantum theory, atoms have fixed energy states. Bohr derived these energy states, and the difference between two states correlates to the Rydberg frequency/wavelength values. It is reasonable to believe that external waves that correlate to these energy states could enhance this process. With a great deal of testing, The properties of this process can be modeled. This also fits in well with Planck's electronic model of the atom, which could lead to a final predictive model.
Hyperfuzzy
not rated yet Mar 01, 2017
Very interesting. The emitted response by being similar implies atomic motion that is similar. Do we have a functional response, i.e. input vs output/atom? Can the motion be traced as circular, ellipsoidal, vibratory? Point: Can the atom be modified?

Or is it a filter?
Hyperfuzzy
not rated yet Mar 01, 2017
Very good approach. In accordance with Planck's quantum theory, atoms have fixed energy states. Bohr derived these energy states, and the difference between two states correlates to the Rydberg frequency/wavelength values. It is reasonable to believe that external waves that correlate to these energy states could enhance this process. With a great deal of testing, The properties of this process can be modeled. This also fits in well with Planck's electronic model of the atom, which could lead to a final predictive model.

I think this is counter intuitive. These would be unique per atom. This is very close to a disproof.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.