The cost of optical laser systems has largely grown since the moment of its invention. Herewith, lasers become a subject for which scientists are award Nobel prizes, for example, for optical tweezers development or studying of pulsed laser modules. Nowadays a group of researchers from the USA suggests and presents a totally new phonon laser system – a laser for sound, based on an optically levitated nanoparticles.
The researchers use optical tweezer technology invented by Arthur Ashkin, an American scientist and Nobel laureate for the development of a phonon laser system. It should be mentioned that a phonon is considered to be a quantum of energy associated with a sound wave, at the same time optical tweezers allow testing quantum effect limitation and in isolation and taking away physical interference from the environment.
Thus, the researchers decided to study the mechanical oscillations of nanoparticles that are levitated against gravity by the force of radiation at the focus of an optical laser beam created by a high-quality laser module. The fact is the measuring the position of the nanoparticles by identifying the laser system light it emits, and putting that data information back into the laser beam of the tweezer enables to create a laser-like situation.
In this case, the mechanical vibrations obtain more intensity and fall into ideal process synchronization similar to the electromagnetic waves coming from a traditional optical laser system. Compared to light emerging from the sun or from a light bulb, the laser beam is able to overcome pretty long distance without expanding in different directions due to the synchronization of waves from the laser module.
It should be noted that in conventional fiber laser systems, the attributes of the laser system light output are absolutely dependent on the materials from which such a fiber laser is made. It is significant that in the phonon laser system, this principle is reversed because the movement of the material particles is regulated by the optical feedback.
The potential laser applications are sensing and information processing, taking into an account the fiber laser systems have so numerous and still developing fields of applications. Moreover, the phonon laser system is a highly promising development because it allows studying the fundamental quantum physics, and possibly, the laser module opens new possibilities for the engineering of the famous thought experiment of Schrödinger’s cat that is able to be at two places simultaneously.
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