Packed 'sea of photons' could shrink the size of electronic devices

Written by: Abdul Nisar
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London, Nov 25 (ANI): A sea of photons has been combined to make a 'super photon' - a feat that could help shrink the size of electronic devices.

Close to absolute zero, some atoms and molecules have been made to form a quantum material called a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) - a state in which the particles are all in their lowest possible energy state and behave as a single entity.

Now Martin Weitz of the University of Bonn in Germany and colleagues have managed to lower photons' energies without losing them, at room temperature, reports New Scientist.

First, the team placed two concave mirrors 1 micrometre apart, and filled the lens-shaped cavity between them with a red liquid dye. They then fired a green laser at the cavity. The dye absorbed photons from the laser and re-emitted them at lower-energy yellow wavelengths, which the mirrors focused at the centre of the cavity.

When the low-energy photons at the centre of the cavity reached a density of about a trillion photons per cubic centimetre, they began to act as a single photon, shifting in appearance from a blurry glow to a bright point.

Weitz said the work could help further shrink electronic devices. Ultraviolet light has a short wavelength, making it an ideal tool to burn small patterns onto computer chips. But UV lasers are difficult to make.

If UV photons can be cooled in the same way that the optical photons in this study were, a photon BEC could serve as a new high-energy UV photon source, he concluded.

The study has been published in Nature. (ANI)

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