Tuesday, December 10, 2013

IBM Researchers Demo Bose-Einstein Condensation

Researchers at IBM demonstrated for the first time a complex quantum mechanical phenomenon known as Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC). The breakthrough has potential applications in developing novel optoelectronic devices, including energy-efficient lasers and ultra-fast optical switches.

The demo, which used a luminescent polymer (plastic) similar to the materials in light emitting displays used in many of today's smartphones, proved that BEC could be observed at room temperature.

A thin polymeric layer was placed between two mirrors and excited with laser light. IBM said the bosonic particles are created through interaction of the polymer material and light which bounces back and forth between the two mirrors. The bosons could be used to create a source of laser-like light and/or an optical switch for future optical interconnects.


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