Light Photographed As A Wave And A Particle For The First Time

Scientists have long known that light can behave as both a particle and a wave—Einstein first predicted it in 1909. But no experiment has been able to show light in both states simultaneously. Now, researchers at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland have taken the first ever photograph of light as both a wave and a particle. The key was a new experimental technique that uses electrons to capture the light’s movement. The work was published today in the journal Nature Communications.

To get this snapshot, the researchers shot laser pulses at a nanowire. The wavelengths of light moved in two different directions along the metal. When the waves ran into each other, they look liked a wave standing still, which is effectively a particle.

In order to see how the waves were moving, the researchers shot a beam of electrons at the nanowire, like dropping dye in a river to see the currents. The particles in the light wave changed the speed at which the electrons moved. That enabled the researchers to capture an image just as the waves met.

“This experiment demonstrates that, for the first time ever, we can film quantum mechanics – and its paradoxical nature – directly,” said Fabrizio Carbone, one of the authors of the study, in a press release. Carbone hopes that a better understanding of how light functions can jumpstart the field of quantum computing.

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Electronics at the speed of light

Illustration of how electrons can be imagined to move between two arms of a metallic nanoantenna, driven by a single-cycle light wave. Credit: University of Konstanz

A European team of researchers including physicists from the University of Konstanz has found a way of transporting electrons at times below the femtosecond range by manipulating them with light. This could have major implications for the future of data processing and computing.

Contemporary electronic components, which are traditionally based on silicon semiconductor technology, can be switched on or off within picoseconds (i.e. 10-12 seconds). Standard mobile phones and computers work at maximum frequencies of several gigahertz (1 GHz = 109 Hz) while individual transistors can approach one terahertz (1 THz = 1012Hz). Further increasing the speed at which electronic switching devices can be opened or closed using the standard technology has since proven a challenge. A recent series of experiments—conducted at the University of Konstanz and reported in a recent publication in Nature Physics—demonstrates that electrons can be induced to move at sub-femtosecond speeds, i.e. faster than 10-15 seconds, by manipulating them with tailored .

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Quantum Leaps, Long Assumed to Be Instantaneous, Take Time

 

 

 

 

 

When quantum mechanics was first developed a century ago as a theory for understanding the atomic-scale world, one of its key concepts was so radical, bold and counter-intuitive that it passed into popular language: the “quantum leap.” Purists might object that the common habit of applying this term to a big change misses the point that jumps between two quantum states are typically tiny, which is precisely why they weren’t noticed sooner. But the real point is that they’re sudden. So sudden, in fact, that many of the pioneers of quantum mechanics assumed they were instantaneous.

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Quantum Teleportation Enters the Real World

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two separate teams of scientists have taken quantum teleportation from the lab into the real world. Researchers working in Calgary, Canada and Hefei, China, used existing fiber optics networks to transmit small units of information across cities via quantum entanglement — Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance.”Stepping Outside the LabAccording to quantum mechanics, some objects, like photons or electrons, can be entangled.

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How Aging Affects Mitochondria in Brain Cells and Contributes to Age-Related Diseases

 

 

 

 

 

By Dr. Mercola

In recent years, it’s become increasingly apparent that most of what we refer to as health and disease really links back to the function of your mitochondria — tiny organelles inside your cells that play an important role in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), required for all biological functions. If your mitochondria are not functioning well, your risk for chronic degenerative diseases will radically increase. Not surprisingly, optimization of mitochondria is also vital for life extension strategies.

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