Driving chemical reactions with light

The chemistry of photosynthesis is still poorly understood. However, researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Germany and Rice University in Houston have now uncovered a major piece of the puzzle. Their ...

Quantum computing with graphene plasmons

A novel material that consists of a single sheet of carbon atoms could lead to new designs for optical quantum computers. Physicists from the University of Vienna and the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona have shown ...

Future bright for mini synchrotrons

Colliding a stream of electrons with laser light near an array of tiny silver structures could be the recipe for a new X-ray source that could revolutionize medical imaging and security scanning.

Chemicals induce dipoles to damp plasmons

The light scattered by plasmonic nanoparticles is useful, but some of it gets lost at the surface and scientists are now starting to figure out why.

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Plasmon

In physics, a plasmon is a quantum of plasma oscillation. The plasmon is a quasiparticle resulting from the quantization of plasma oscillations just as photons and phonons are quantizations of light and mechanical vibrations, respectively (though the photon is an elementary particle, not a quasiparticle). Thus, plasmons are collective oscillations of the free electron gas density, for example, at optical frequencies. Plasmons can couple with a photon to create another quasiparticle called a plasma polariton.

Since plasmons are the quantization of classical plasma oscillations, most of their properties can be derived directly from Maxwell's equations.

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