Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Article Written By: Teresa Marotta


When thousands of photons are carefully concentrated and cooled, they can combine to become a ‘super-photon’. It is called a photonic Bose-Einstein condensate. In 2010, the team from the University of Bonn in Germany created a method for producing a Bose-Einstein condensate from photons. Their latest studies involve experimentation with the ‘super-photon’.

“In the experimental setup, a laser beam was rapidly bounced back and forth between two mirrors,” said Professor Weitz. “In between was a pigment that cooled the laser light to such an extent that a super-photon was created from the individual light portions.” “The special thing is that we have built a kind of optical well in various forms, into which the Bose-Einstein condensate was able to flow.”

By mixing a polymer into the pigment in between the mirror, the refractive index changed depending on the temperature. Therefore, the path between the mirror for the light changed and created longer wavelengths when heated. Various temperature patterns created different optical dents. This allowed the researchers to create low-loss patterns that captured the photonic Bose-Einstein condensate.

“This would, in turn, be the prerequisite for a new technique for quantum communication and quantum computers. But that’s still a long way off,” said Professor Weitz.

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