- BBC World News
We live bombarded with light, and how well it is, because thanks to it it is possible from the photosynthesis of plants to the device in which you read this article.
For this reason, it is essential for scientists to learn more about light and its behavior, especially at the subatomic.
What at first glance looks like a ray of light, on a nanometric scale reveals a particular behavior of the photons, which is what light particles are called.
Thus, with the help of powerful microscopes, physicists specializing in optics have noted that light is capable of forming vortices and eddies that trap and transport informationfrom the.
They can even form shapes that look like a “corkscrew”, as Kobus Kuipers, director of the Department of Quantum Nanosciences at the Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands, explains to BBC Mundo.
What are these eddies and how can they be useful for the future of technology?
Swirls and corkscrew
Light travels through space as a electromagnetic wave that interacts with the matter with which it crosses in the way, and also with other light waves.
A form of interaction for example, it is when the light of a lamp illuminates a table.
At the microscope level, the same thing happens: a beam of light interacts with the nanoparticles it encounters.
When these interactions occur, light can rotate around a point, forming spirals that in some cases can appear to be swirls or sacacorchos.
In a recent experiment, Kuipers and his colleagues noted that in some places, light also forms perfect circles, called “C points”.
And what is the use of knowing this?
For researchers like Kuipers, the goal is to have greater control of light as a medium information transmitter.
Light, unlike electronic devices that are used today, can transmit data more efficiently, cleanly, with less loss of information and without wasting energy.
The quantum computing, which has already shown its potential to create machines much more powerful than the ones we currently use, is based on the precise control of light as one of the most efficient ways to transport and process data.
As Kuipers explains, eddies and corkscrews of light “allow information to be transported at the quantum level in a more efficient“.
Other research has also shown that light whirlpools have the ability to increase volume hundreds of times of information transmitted.
In 2017, for example, an experiment at the University of Córdoba, in Spain, managed to create a type of light vortex that offers uses in areas such as micromecanización, the ‘trapping’ of atoms, or the illumination of nanoparticles, as reported at the time by the Spanish Information and Scientific News Service.
These developments may offer advancements in areas such as computing or medicine.
Trapping particles and data in light corkscrews can serve to transport them without loss of information, explica Kuipers.
For the researcher, the great goal is to reach master the light in the same way that we dominate electricity today.
“(We want to) keep the light as light and save us the step to turn it into electricity, “says Kuipers.
The expert acknowledges that there are still 15 or 20 years left for his studies on light eddies to have an application in everyday life, but he assures that mastering them would allow us to have a more efficient internet, improve the performance of solar cells and improve optical-based medical diagnostics.
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