Physicists from Germany discovered a previously unknown phase transition in a Bose – Einstein optical condensate and a new state of light quanta – an overdamped phase.
The new research is based on the discovery in 2010 of a new light source – a single superphoton, made up of many thousands of individual light particles. Bose – Einstein condensate is an extreme aggregate state of matter that occurs only at temperatures close to absolute zero.
The authors explain that the particles in such a system are already in a quantum-mechanical state and we can say that they are indistinguishable. They behave like one giant particle.
In their experiment, the scientists captured light particles in a resonator consisting of two curved mirrors. In the course of their observations, they discovered a phase transition in the system of trapped light particles between the oscillation phase and the decay phase.
The superdamped phase observed by us corresponds to a new state of the light field.
Fakhri Emre Ozturk, the first author of the article and a graduate student of the Institute of Applied Physics.
The results, according to the authors, may in the future be important for the implementation of secure quantum communication, as well as for the search for new states of the light field.