Scientists discover a new property of light

changes in light

The team of chemists at the University of California, Irvine has made an exciting discovery that reveals a new interaction between light and matter that was unknown until now. The authors suggest that this discovery has the potential to improve solar energy systems, light-emitting diodes, semiconductor lasers and other technological advances.

In this article we are going to tell you what the discovery of scientists about a new property of light.

New property of light

beam of light

The researchers, in collaboration with their counterparts at the Kazan Federal University in Russia, detailed in a recent publication in the journal ACS Nano how they discovered that photons, when confined within nanometer-scale spaces in silicon, They can acquire significant momentum comparable to that of electrons in solid materials.

According to a statement from the study, "silicon, which is the second most prevalent element on our planet and serves as the basis of contemporary electronic devices, has faced obstacles in its application to optoelectronics due to its poor optical characteristics." Dmitry Fishman, associate professor of chemistry at Irvine, is the senior author.

According to his statement, silicon, in its massive form, It does not have the inherent ability to emit light. However, when exposed to visible radiation, porous, nanostructured silicon has the ability to generate observable light. This phenomenon has been recognized by scientists for many years, although the exact source of the illumination remains a matter of controversy.

Fishman explained that Arthur Compton's pioneering discovery in 1923 revealed that gamma photons had enough momentum to engage in significant interactions with electrons, whether they were free or bound. This fundamental finding provided evidence for the dual nature of light, encompassing both wave and particle characteristics. Thanks to that, Compton received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1927..

Through our experiments conducted, they have shown that manipulation of visible light within nanoscale silicon crystals results in optical interaction within semiconductors that are comparable.

To understand the beginning of the interaction, it is necessary to go back to the beginning of the 20th century. During this time, CV Raman, a renowned Indian physicist who later received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930, attempted to replicate Compton's experiment using visible light. However, he faced a major obstacle: the notable discrepancy between the momentum of electrons and that of visible photons.

Despite facing a setback, Raman's studies on inelastic scattering in liquids and gases resulted in the discovery of the vibrational Raman effect, which is now widely recognized. As a result, spectroscopy, a vital technique for studying matter, is commonly known as Raman scattering.

Raman electron scattering

new property of light

Co-author Eric Potma, who is also a chemistry professor at Irvine, explained that the revelation of photonic momentum in disordered silicon can be attributed to a type of electronic Raman scattering. However, unlike traditional vibrational Raman, Electron Raman encompasses different start and end points for the electron, a phenomenon that was previously observed only in metallic substances.

In their laboratory, the researchers created silicon glass samples with varying degrees of transparency, from amorphous to crystalline. To carry out their experiments, they used a 300-nanometer-thick silicon film and directed a precisely focused continuous-wave laser beam, which they moved in a scanning motion to inscribe a sequence of straight lines.

When submitting certain regions at temperatures below 500 degrees Celsius, a uniform cross-linked glass material was produced by this process. On the contrary, when temperatures exceeded the threshold of 500 C, a disparate semiconductor glass was formed. This intriguing “light foam film” allowed scientists to meticulously examine small fluctuations in electronic, optical and thermal characteristics at the nanoscale.

According to Fishman, this particular work presents a challenge to our current understanding of how light and matter interact, emphasizing the important role that photonic momentum plays in the process.

The interaction between electrons and photons is intensified in chaotic systems due to the alignment of their moments, a phenomenon previously thought to only occur with high-energy gamma photons in classical Compton scattering. This groundbreaking discovery opens new possibilities to expand the reach of conventional optical spectroscopy. It goes beyond its usual applications in chemical analysis, such as traditional vibrational Raman spectroscopy used in structural studies. This finding emphasizes the importance of considering the momentum of photons when examining the information they carry.

printed light

property of light

When lightning strikes a surface that lacks curvature, an unmistakable crescent shape is left behind. This observation led the scientists to discern that photons at the frontmost section of the spiral-shaped light column exhibited a rotation around its core comparatively slower than the photons placed at the back of the beam. This discovery effectively provides a plausible explanation for this particular phenomenon.

A group of scientists from various institutions in Spain and the United States made an exciting revelation. They have identified a hitherto unknown characteristic of light, which they have called "autocouple." This property can be compared to an elongated spiral or helix, reminiscent of a spring. The findings, published in the journal Science under the title “Generation of extreme ultraviolet beams with time-varying orbital angular momentum,” have the potential to pave the way for groundbreaking technological advances.

Scientists were able to make this discovery based on previous experiments. These experiments involved directing two laser beams simultaneously into a cloud of argon gas. By doing this, the light rays were forced to combine and form a unified beam. This led scientists to realize that light can exert a detectable amount of pressure on illuminated objects. This principle is what would propel a solar sail through space.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the new property of light discovered by scientists.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *



  1. Responsible for the data: Miguel Ángel Gatón
  2. Purpose of the data: Control SPAM, comment management.
  3. Legitimation: Your consent
  4. Communication of the data: The data will not be communicated to third parties except by legal obligation.
  5. Data storage: Database hosted by Occentus Networks (EU)
  6. Rights: At any time you can limit, recover and delete your information.