Authors: George Rajna
Twisted PCFs show some amazing features, from circular birefringence to conservation of the angular momentum.  Photonics applications rely greatly on what physicists call nonlinear optics-the different way in which materials behave depending on the intensity of light that passes through them. The greater the nonlinearity, the more promising the material for real-life applications. Now a team, led by Robert W. Boyd, Professor of Optics and Physics at the University of Rochester and the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Quantum Nonlinear Optics at the University of Ottawa, has demonstrated that the transparent, electrical conductor indium tin oxide can result in up to 100 times greater nonlinearity than other known materials.  Harnessing the power of the sun and creating light-harvesting or light-sensing devices requires a material that both absorbs light efficiently and converts the energy to highly mobile electrical current. Finding the ideal mix of properties in a single material is a challenge, so scientists have been experimenting with ways to combine different materials to create "hybrids" with enhanced features.  Condensed-matter physicists often turn to particle-like entities called quasiparticles—such as excitons, plasmons, magnons—to explain complex phenomena. Now Gil Refael from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and colleagues report the theoretical concept of the topological polarition, or " topolariton " : a hybrid half-light, half-matter quasiparticle that has special topological properties and might be used in devices to transport light in one direction.  Solitons are localized wave disturbances that propagate without changing shape, a result of a nonlinear interaction that compensates for wave packet dispersion. Individual solitons may collide, but a defining feature is that they pass through one another and emerge from the collision unaltered in shape, amplitude, or velocity, but with a new trajectory reflecting a discontinuous jump. Working with colleagues at the Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms, a group led by Harvard Professor of Physics Mikhail Lukin and MIT Professor of Physics Vladan Vuletic have managed to coax photons into binding together to form molecules – a state of matter that, until recently, had been purely theoretical. The work is described in a September 25 paper in Nature.
Comments: 23 Pages.
[v1] 2017-07-07 10:27:21
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