Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ultrashort and Extremely Precise

01.09.2016

A group of theoretical physicists headed by Oriol Romero-Isart from the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information and the University of Innsbruck observes a surprising quantum effect when short light pulses interact with matter. In the future, this effect may be used for developing a completely new type of far-field light nanoscopes.

The invention of the light microscope marks the beginning of modern science; its application has enabled scientists to answer fundamental scientific questions. Microscopes are still an extremely important tool in research and are standard equipment in many laboratories.


Innsbruck physicists observe a surprising quantum effect when short light pulses interact with matter.

Patrick Maurer

Chemistry Nobel laureate Stefan Hell coined the term nanoscopes for describing high-resolution or far-field light microscopes because they also show objects in the nanometer sphere. Together with Ignacio Cirac from the Max-Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, Oriol Romero-Isart and PhD student Patrick Maurer have now made a discovery that may lead to a completely new scheme for far-field light nanoscopy.

The light’s wavelength poses a limit to the resolution of light microscopes. However, by applying some technical adjustments, scientists are able to circumvent the obstacles and achieve higher resolutions. In a theoretical paper published in the current issue of Physical Review Letters, the physicists in Innsbruck have now demonstrated how a train of attosecond pulses of polychromatic light could be used to excite a two-level system, which is a basic model system in quantum mechanics.

After a short period of time the system returns to its ground state thereby emitting a light particle that can be detected. “Since we can focus attosecond lasers really well, our new approach may lead to the development of a new technology for nanoscopes,” says an excited Romero-Isart, whose research group also studies topics in the field of nano-optics.

“The light pulse spectrum could range from radiofrequencies to ultraviolet light,” explains Maurer. “The resolution will be determined by the mean wave length of the light.” The duration of the light pulse has to be extremely short, that is in the attosecond range - an attosecond is a billionth of a billionth of a second. The next step for the scientists is to calculate their approach with real molecules to pave the way for developing novel nanoscopes.

Publication: Ultrashort Pulses for Far-Field Nanoscopy. Patrick Maurer, J. Ignacio Cirac, and Oriol Romero-Isart. Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 103602 – Published 29 August 2016
doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.103602

Rückfragehinweis:
Oriol Romero-Isart
Institut für Quantenoptik und Quanteninformation
Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften
phone: +43 512 507 4730
email: oriol.romero-isart@uibk.ac.at

Weitere Informationen:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.103602 - Ultrashort Pulses for Far-Field Nanoscopy. Patrick Maurer, J. Ignacio Cirac, and Oriol Romero-Isart. Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 103602
http://iqoqi.at/en/group-page-romero-isart - Quantum Nanophysics, Optics and Information, IQOQI

Dr. Christian Flatz | Universität Innsbruck
Further information:
http://www.uibk.ac.at

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht What happens when we heat the atomic lattice of a magnet all of a sudden?
17.07.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin

nachricht Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino
16.07.2018 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microscopic trampoline may help create networks of quantum computers

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier

17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>