Scientists have for the first time received a "liquid light" at normal temperature
Physics for the first time in history have received "liquid light" at room temperature, making this unusual form of matter more accessible than ever. It is simultaneously a mixture of superfluid liquid having a zero level of friction and viscosity, and a kind of condensate Bose - Einstein, which is often referred to as the fifth state of matter. These properties allow light actually flows around the object in front of it and angles.
Normal light usually exhibits properties of waves and particles sometimes and always moves in a straight line. That is why our eyes, for example, can not see around corners. However, in some very extreme environments light can also behave like a liquid, gaining the ability to flow around objects.
Scientific interest Bose - Einstein condensates are primarily due to its state of aggregation, when the rules under which they operate, working on the verge of classical and quantum physics, when the solid matter starts to get more wave properties. Typically, such condensation is generated at temperatures close to absolute zero, and can exist literally within a few fractions of a second.
But within the last study, the researchers were able to create a Bose - Einstein condensate at normal room temperature, using "frankenshteynsky" set of matter and light.
"The feature of our work is that we have demonstrated the possibility of creating a superfluid state at room ambient temperature using svetomaterii particles called polaritons" - says lead researcher Daniele Sanvitto from the Italian Institute of Nanotechnology CNR NANOTEC.
Create polaritons required the use of very expensive research equipment and technology nanotechnology level. Scientists placed between two mirrors ultrareflektornymi layer of organic molecules of 130 nanometers thick, and it was passed through a 35-femtosecond pulse laser (1 femtosecond is 1 quadrillionth lobe conventional seconds).
"Thus in organic molecules, we were able to combine the properties of photons - the effective mass and speed - and especially e-relationship," - says Stephanie Kena-Cohen from the Ecole Polytechnique of Montreal (Canada).
The result is a "sverhzhidkost" with very unusual properties. Under normal temperature conditions when a simple liquid would have the property of flowability, at its surface under external influence can be created ripples and swirls. Sverhzhidkost same such response does not show.
The following image can be seen as a stream polaritons directed to conventional liquid creates a wave, while the inside sverhzhidkosti (lower image) such features it does not show.
"In an environment sverhzhidkosti this turbulence is absorbed therein: obstacles, allowing the flow to continue its movement without any distortion," - said Ken Cohen.
The researchers say that these findings not only open the way to new research features of quantum hydrodynamics, but also to the creation of devices and technologies of the future that will be able to use the polaritons in normal conditions. We are talking about new types of superconducting materials that can be used in the production of a new generation of LEDs, solar panels and lasers.
"The fact that a similar effect is observed under normal ambient conditions, opens up many possibilities for future work" - the researchers say.
"This is not only a milestone in the study of phenomena such as Bose - Einstein, but also the way to the potential development of futuristic photonic devices based on superfluid liquids, in which the problem of distortion is completely absent, and instead will open the door to other new unexpected phenomena ".
The results of the Italian physicists have been published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Physics.