Scientists Discover Particles That Are Half-Light, Half-Matter
Scientists have been trying to build computing devices with the capabilities of both light and matter for many years. Now, the scientific community is one step closer to that goal, as a groundbreaking study from City College of New York saw researchers discover particles that are half-light, half-matter.
In this study, the research team trapped atom-thick semiconductors, similar to graphene, between light-trapping structures in order to combine light and matter into one particle. More research will likely need to be done in order to confirm the results, but early review looks promising. The study is published in peer-reviewed journal Nature Photonics, and is being hailed as trailblazing by Dr. Dirk Englund, a professor at MIT who studies quantum technologies: "What is so remarkable and exciting in the work by Vinod and his team is how readily this strong coupling regime could actually be achieved. They have shown convincingly that by coupling a rather standard dielectric cavity to exciton-polaritons in a monolayer of molybdenum disulphide, they could actually reach this strong coupling regime with a very large binding strength."
These results could allow for the combination of light and matter properties in many different technologies, from logic gates and signal processors to platforms for quantum computing. Study author Dr. Vinod Menon said, "Besides being a fundamental breakthrough, this opens up the possibility of making devices which take the benefits of both light and matter."