Superfluid light


28/10/2010

Superfluidity - a state of matter, which allows fluid to "climb" through the walls of the container in which it is contained, known since the 1930s. In our time, superfluidity is a clear example of how quantum effects may become visible at the microscopic level, with certain conditions. While in the past physicists have considered the theoretical possibility of the existence of superfluid light, so far the results have been inconsistent. In a new study, physicists from France have shown theoretically that the superfluid motion of light is indeed possible and proposed an experiment that demonstrates this phenomenon.

In their study, published in the current issue of the journal Physical Review Letters, Patricio Lebouf and Simon Mulieras from the University of Paris-Sud, explained that superfluidity, a state of the fluid with zero viscosity. Most often, the effect is demonstrated in Example helium atoms which reach their lower energy threshold during cooling.

In their study, Lebouf and Mulieras shown that there is a superfluid critical velocity in a medium with optical nonlinearity. From the dynamic point of view, the light passes through a medium with optical nonlinearity is the formal equivalent of the massive particles interacting Bose gas.

Physicists were particularly interested in what happens to the light pulse as it passes through several waveguides at different speeds in the presence of the defect. If the light is scattered defective, it means that there is the dissipative process. And if the light moves through the defect without changing its shape, it has superfluidity. They calculated that for certain low speeds, the transverse motion of light is a superfluid with zero dispersion.

They suggested that superfluidity - this is a general property of light that can be seen in a variety of scenarios, not related to the passage of light through the waveguides. Superconductivity of light can be used to optimize the process of moving light.

Original: Physorg


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