A team of researchers at the University of Strathclyde has developed a method of creating materials into complex shapes that involves the use of “twisted” light. The new technique builds on the temperature-sensitive properties of atoms. When atoms are cooled to or near absolute zero temperature (-273 degrees Celsius), they stop behaving like particles and exhibit wave characteristics. In such a state, the atoms are called Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs).
BECs are integral to atom lasers, quantum simulations, and dim light work. BECs help in understanding materials such as superfluids and superconductors.
The Study Published in Physical review letters noted that when bending light is shone on these BECs, which are dynamic in nature, the particles disintegrate further and break up into clusters of BEC droplets.
These droplets move according to the characteristics of the reflected light. Using bending light as a steering element, as well as a regulator, the researchers observed that they could control the number of BEC droplets, as well as how they move. Studies have shown that the number of drops of BEC is equal to twice the number of light turns.
“By shining a laser beam at a BEC, we can influence how it behaves. When the laser beam is ‘twisted,’ it has a helical phase profile and carries orbital angular momentum (OAM). Laser beams with OAM can trap microscopic particles and can rotate, acting like an optical spanner,” said Grant Henderson, lead author of the paper. statement,
The researchers said the method of bending light shining through ultracold atoms creates a simple and new way to “sculpt objects into unconventional and complex shapes”. The new method offers enormous potential for new designs quantum Devices like highly sensitive detectors and atomtronic circuits.