Scientists combine light and matter to make particles with new behaviors

light
Credit: Petr Kratochvil/public domain

Every type of atom in the universe has a unique fingerprint: It only absorbs or emits light at the particular energies that match the allowed orbits of its electrons. That fingerprint enables scientists to identify an atom wherever it is found. A hydrogen atom in outer space absorbs light at the same energies as one on Earth.

While physicists have learned how electric and magnetic fields can manipulate this fingerprint, the number of features that make it up usually remains constant. In work published July 3 in the journal Nature, University of Chicago researchers challenged this paradigm by shaking electrons with lasers to create "doppelganger" features at new energies—a breakthrough that lets scientists create hybrid particles which are part-atom and part-, 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 , this work could one day help create more powerful computers or virtually "unhackable" quantum communications.

One step along the way to making matter out of light is to make individual packets of light, called photons, interact with each other like matter does. (Normally photons zip along at the speed of light and don't react to each other at all.)

"In order to make photons collide with one another, we use as a go-between," said postdoctoral researcher Logan Clark, who led the research. "But we were running into a problem because the photons only interact with atoms whose electronic orbitals are at very particular energies. So we asked: What if we could make copies of the orbitals at whatever energies we wanted?"

Clark had already developed techniques to manipulate quantum matter by shaking it —called Floquet engineering—as part of his Ph.D. project. The right sort of shaking naturally produces copies of quantum states at multiple energies along the way. "We had always viewed the copies as a side effect rather than the goal," he said, "but this time, we shook our electrons with the specific intent of making the copies."

By varying the intensity of a laser field tuned precisely to an atomic resonance, the team was able to shift the orbitals of an electron. Shaking the orbitals by periodically varying this intensity produced the desired copies.

But these doppelgangers come with an important catch: "While the atomic orbital does appear at multiple distinct energies, it is important to note that these copies are actually bound to the original like puppets," explained postdoctoral researcher Nathan Schine, a co-author on the study. "When any of the copies shifts, the original and all of the other copies shift with it."

By allowing photons to interact with these shaken atoms, the team has created what they call "Floquet polaritons"—quasi-particles which are part-light and part-atom, and unlike regular photons, interact with each other quite strongly. These interactions are essential for making matter from light. Making polaritons with shaken atoms can give the polaritons much more flexibility to move around and collide with each other in new ways.

"Floquet polaritons are full of surprises; we're still continuing to understand them better," Clark said. "Our next order of business, though, will be to use these colliding photons to make topological 'fluids' of light. It is a tremendously exciting time."

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.

"It turns out shaking things is not only a lot of fun, but can lead to some really fascinating science," Clark said.


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Repulsive photons

More information: Logan W. Clark et al. Interacting Floquet polaritons, Nature (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1354-5
Journal information: Nature

Citation: Scientists combine light and matter to make particles with new behaviors (2019, July 4) retrieved 17 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-scientists-combine-particles-behaviors.html
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Jul 04, 2019
Protons, electrons, elements created from this energy fingerprint of photons

Louise Lerner
The research is part of a greater effort in Assoc. Prof. Jonathan Simon's lab to break down the walls between matter and light

For if this is possible
The finger print
of protons, electrons and hydrogen
That if is possible to get the energy and frequency exact
Then it is possible to create protons electrons hydrogen atoms from photons
As then helium has a pacific fingerprint
For then helium can be created from photons

For if this is ultimately possible
It begs the question
What are we trying to achieve with our fusion reactors?

Jul 04, 2019
For if this is ultimately possible
It begs the question
What are we trying to achieve with our fusion reactors?
Uh it begs the question
Do you really think
They are trying to create
Matter
Out of photons in
Fusion reactors
????
https://youtu.be/5hARDXYz2io

it begs the question
does style
lend credence
to nonsense
?

-you a smoker little poet?

Jul 04, 2019
As helium is created in fusion reactors
As then helium has a pacific fingerprint
For then helium can be created from photons

Where the mass defect is the energy of fusion extracted
For then helium can be created from photons has the same mass defect energy of fusion extracted
An alternative way extracting energy of fusion with photons created by their energy of fingerprint

Jul 04, 2019
Why dont you say that in normal English so people understand you're serious about participating here as an adult, or at least an adult who is not OCD? Think you might be able to do that?

Jul 04, 2019
So, when the new type of matter replicates itself and takes over our type of matter, who'll be around to care? Just saying, there are UNDOUBTEDLY unforeseen circumstances, just like with any new tech.

Jul 04, 2019
"By allowing photons to interact with these shaken atoms, the team has created what they call "Floquet polaritons"—quasi-particles which are part-light and part-atom, and unlike regular photons, interact with each other quite strongly. These interactions are essential for making matter from light."


What they've done is similar to the 'double-slit' experiment, where a Photon is shown to be both a Particle and a Wave or Wave-Particle Duality. When in flight, the Photon loses the Particle and is purely a Wave traveling at c.
"...part light and part atom". IIRC, an atom contains an electron and a proton = Hydrogen. Multiple electrons and protons make an atom of another element. A combination of an atom of a particular element PLUS a Photon inside the atom doesn't seem possible, and how does it become a Particle - quasi or otherwise? Perhaps the Photon was transmuted into a Particle and is no longer Light?

Jul 04, 2019
@granville
"As helium is created in fusion reactors
As then helium has a pacific fingerprint
For then helium can be created from photons"

But they are combining a Photon with an Atom. If an atom of Helium is combined with a Photon to create a Particle, that doesn't make much sense to me. What is the purpose in it? I'll have to read the article again. There must be something wrong in this article or something was left out. Perhaps it is an atom of a different element that they've combined with a Photon to create a Particle. A Particle of what?
This new type of Matter that they're messing with was definitely NOT in the Program. It is unnatural and it could have major implications. Humans are so stupid. Creating new Matter from Matter. LOL

Jul 05, 2019
As helium is created in fusion reactors
As then helium has a pacific fingerprint


And hydrogen has an atlantic fingerprint?

(It's spelled 'specific' you dope).

Jul 05, 2019
Photons interacting in matter

SEU
@granville
"As helium is created in fusion reactors
As then helium has a pacific fingerprint
For then helium can be created from photons"

But they are combining a Photon with an Atom. If an atom of Helium is combined with a Photon to create a Particle, that doesn't make much sense to me. What is the purpose in it? I'll have to read the article again. There must be something wrong in this article or something was left out. Perhaps it is an atom of a different element that they've combined with a Photon to create a Particle. A Particle of what?
This new type of Matter that they're messing with was definitely NOT in the Program. It is unnatural and it could have major implications. Humans are so stupid. Creating new Matter from Matter. LOL

An idea that is implied by using photon in this way

Jul 05, 2019
Photons in atoms – atoms in photons

Old_C_Code
As helium is created in fusion reactors
As then helium has a pacific fingerprint


And hydrogen has an atlantic fingerprint?

(It's spelled 'specific' you dope).

This light hearted moment - thanks for the selling correction

Jul 06, 2019
As helium is created in fusion reactors
As then helium has a pacific fingerprint


And hydrogen has an atlantic fingerprint?

(It's spelled 'specific' you dope).
says O_C_C

Everyone knows what he meant. You don't have to make a big deal of a misspelt word. Did the misspelt word somehow ruin your day, O_C_C?

Have you ever read a science paper where the author typed "the the"? It happens often in periodicals, documents, internet news, etc.
Look for it.

Jul 06, 2019
So, when the new type of matter replicates itself and takes over our type of matter, who'll be around to care? Just saying, there are UNDOUBTEDLY unforeseen circumstances, just like with any new tech.
says Michael Frishberg

I really don't think that we have to worry about such a thing happening, Michael. For it to replicate itself, there needs to be a system built into it similar to RNA, etc.

Jul 06, 2019
One could change the direction of light by passing light waves from one medium to other medium (refraction phenomenon) or collision with a surface, e.g. mirror (reflection).
A new techniques by University of Chicago has been developing: Floquet engineering. After this paper, one could create "Floquet polaritons"—quasi-particles of light (part-light and part-atom) , which interact with other floquet polariton !
A "ball of light" (Floquet polariton) could collide with another "ball of light" (my simple interpretation)
I could make a vision, that one could change the direction of a light stream by collision with another light stream in future!
That is amazing!
Congratulation Floquet Engineering of university of Chicago

Jul 07, 2019
Making matter from light

Matter absorbs photons - electrons absorb photons - electrons emit photons
Hydrogen atoms in outer space absorb light at the same energies as hydrogen atoms on Earth.
Every atom in the universe has a unique fingerprint
Absorbing or emitting light at the energies of the allowed electron orbits
Floquet polaritons
quasi-particles, part-light and part-atom
interact with each other
These interactions are essential for making matter from light


For when that day arrives we make electrons from photons
We will have an electron that will absorb and emit photons
For
Electrons already absorb photons
And
Electrons already emit photons

For E=MC² for C²=M/E where C² are Photons
For Electrons are Indistinguishable from Artificially Created Electrons

p.s. for when we finally construct electrons from photons as electrons already absorb and emit photons we will not be able to distinguish existing electrons and artificially created electrons from photons

Jul 07, 2019
Making matter from light

For as the intention is to make atoms from photons
As Electrons are Indistinguishable from Artificially Created Electrons
To make a hydrogen atom from photons
Implies the ability to make pristine protons and scrumptious electrons from photons
Because hydrogen atoms are a sum total of their individual parts
As a proton once created exists for Yotta years
As a neutron once created exist for 14.7minutes
The point is the proton and neutron do not live for ever
There life times are just a matter of scale

Once we create protons with photons
We have this same ability to create neutrons from photons
Just as we create electrons with photons

The implication is clear
Neutrons cross this coulomb barrier with no resistance decaying to protons
Making matter from light means making helium atoms

For if this is ultimately possible
It begs the question
What are we trying to achieve with our fusion reactors?

Jul 07, 2019
Quasiparticles have long been engineered in solid state physics, such as phonons (sound 'particles'). Making free space many-particle 'particle' states is interesting.

when the new type of matter replicates itself and takes over


That reads like bad science fiction ... on second reading, it reads as *awful* science fiction: "The grey matter nanobots will consume everything else. Oh noes!"

Jul 07, 2019
What are we trying to achieve with our fusion reactors?

For
Neutrons cross this coulomb barrier with no resistance decaying to protons
Is why this neutron exists
As
Making matter from light
Demonstrates this interchangeability between photons and matter
For
It matters not who actually creates these protons, neutrons and electrons
Nature, or natures creation, mankind - for they are still created from photons

Which comes to these fusion reactors?
There sole reason in life is to create helium from hydrogen
Where this heat of fusion is extracted from these surplus neutrons
Where extreme pressure and millions of degrees
Coerce proton-proton contact through this impassable coulomb barrier
Where
Neutrons cross this coulomb barrier with no resistance decaying to protons
Creating helium

Is why this neutron exists!

Jul 07, 2019
Phonons, like photons are simply frequency and wave

torbjorn_b_g_larsson
Quasiparticles have long been engineered in solid state physics, such as phonons (sound 'particles'). Making free space many-particle 'particle' states is interesting.

when the new type of matter replicates itself and takes over


That reads like bad science fiction ... on second reading, it reads as *awful* science fiction: "The grey matter nanobots will consume everything else. Oh noes!"

Phonons
A quantum of energy
Or a quasiparticle
Associated with a compression wave
Such as sound or a vibration of a crystal lattice

Which, torbjorn_b_g_larsson
As photons are a wave, there creation
Protons, neutrons and electrons also are frequency and wave

Jul 07, 2019
Everyone knows what he meant. You don't have to make a big deal of a misspelt word. Did the misspelt word somehow ruin your day, O_C_C?


No, it reminded me of 2nd grade. When the teacher wrote the word specific on the chalkboard, and I realized it wasn't pacific.

2nd grade. Though if English isn't his first language then forgive me. Because you have to be a near moron adult to not know how specific is spelled and pronounced if English is your first language.

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