Quantum Twisters at the Macro LevelCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: December 18, 2012 08:01AM
Typically the world of quantum mechanics is the very small and very cold, and occasionally the very fast. That need not always be the case though, as researchers at the University of Cambridge have shown by creating quantum systems as wide as a human hair. These quantum systems are comprised of quantum tornadoes made of polaritons; a new quasiparticle.
This new quasiparticle, the polariton, is a combination of a photon and electron, but differs from the plasmon, which is another combination of the same two particles. The researchers created the polaritons by controlling the movement of electrons and how they interact with light. By carefully manipulating the features the polaritons move along the researchers are able to cascade them into quantum tornadoes with specific sizes and distances between each other.
The potential of these quantum tornadoes is hard to see at the moment, but they will definitely affect the study of quantum mechanics as they can comprise systems whose effects can be seen under an optical microscope. This should enable many researchers to better study and understand the quantum world.