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这种新型的光其实是一种物理微粒 – 译学馆
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这种新型的光其实是一种物理微粒

This New Form of Light Is a Physical Molecule, Here’s How We Made It

光子极其古怪
Photons are oddballs.
在不作为电磁波时
When they’re not busy being waves,
它们没有质量 以光速传播 因为
they’re massless particles that can travel at light speed because,
它们就是如此 是光的一部分
well, that’s what they are, little packets of light.
在过去几十年都认为
For decades it was also thought
光子间无相互作用
photons didn’t interact with each other at all,
但最近的研究发现了
but recently researchers have discovered how to bind photons together
将光子像分子一样捆在一起的方法
as though they were molecules.
比如手电筒 与《魔鬼克星》的装备不同
With flashlights, unlike ghostbusting equipment,
你可以让光线都汇聚起来
you can cross the streams all you want.
光子不会彼此弹开
Photons don’t bounce off each other
或引爆你身上的每个分子
or cause every molecule in your body to explode
因为光子并不怎么在乎这些
because photons don’t much care for one another.
除非
Unless, that is,
将它们射过铷原子的超冷云
they’re fired through a ultracold cloud of rubidium atoms.
哈佛和MIT的科学家
When scientists from Harvard and MIT
将一束弱激光射过铷云时
fired a weak laser through a rubidium cloud,
发现光子三三两两从另一侧出来
they observed photons coming out the other side in pairs and triples.
不仅如此 他们还能知道
Not only that, but they could tell
光子的振幅
from how much the photons were oscillating
光子不仅聚成一团从云另一侧出来
that they weren’t just bunched up together coming out of the cloud —
它们还相互结合 像分子一样
they were bonded, like molecules.
光分子!
Photonic molecules!
他们能知道由其振动频率产生的化学键键有多强
They could even tell how strong the bond was based on their oscillation frequencies!
在进一步讨论之前
But before we get too ahead of ourselves, I should tell you
我要告诉你们 这不是新的新闻
that not all of this is new news.
回溯到2013年 科学家们向超冷铷气中
Back in 2013, scientists fired a blue laser
发出一束激光
at ultracold rubidium gas and observed the
发现光子从另一侧成对出来
photons forming pairs when they came out theother side.
而“这次”的新闻是光子形成了三聚体
What’s new THIS time are that the photonsformed the trios.
科学家不确定
Scientists weren’t sure
能否形成三个相互作用的光子团
if it was even possible to form groups of three interacting photons.
结果表明这不仅可能
Turns out it’s not only possible,
而且三个光子的相互作用比两个的还强
but three photons interact even more strongly than pairs of photons.
原因如下
To explain how this happens,
研究者认为当光子经过铷云时
researchers believe that as the photons travel through the rubidium cloud,
它们暂时被原子俘获
they’re briefly captured
形成一种原子—分子复合物 称为里德伯极化声子
by the atoms to form an atom-photon hybrid called a Rydberg polariton.
光子在原子间经过时会形成这种结构
The photon travels from atom to atom doing this,
若两个极化声子彼此相遇
and if two polaritons come across one another,
在其原子同伴的干预下光子会结合
the photons can mingle thanks totheir atomic partner.
它们相互纠缠 当其到达气云的边缘时
They become entangled, and when they reach the edge
光子会粘在一起
of the gas cloud the atoms stay behind
而原子会被留下
while the photons stick together.
就像两个害羞的人
It’s like two shy people being
在聚会上被他们外向的朋友介绍给彼此
introduced to each other by their more outgoing friends at a party.
他们不会自发接触彼此
They’d never approach each other on their own,
但只要发现他们合得来
but once they meet they really hit it
自然而然
off. Apparently,
他们会放开自我
they’re even open to
让第三者加入 好
adding a third person to the mix. Ok,
在陷入麻烦之前
I’m going to abandon this metaphor
我要放弃这个比喻
before I get in trouble.
这些新光分子具有让人着迷的特性
These new photonic molecules have interesting properties,
比如它们有极微小的质量
like taking on a tiny amount of mass,
要是还记得光子是无质量就会明白这有多疯狂
which is crazy when you remember photons by themselves are massless.
它们速度比普通的慢100,000倍
They also travel about 100,000 times slower than normal,
也就是
so you know, around a sluggish
慢到10,000公里每小时
10,000 kilometers per hour.
我们能用这些光分子做什么还有待观察
What we can DO with these photon molecules remains to be seen.
它们让光作计算机逻辑门成为可能
They could make it possible for computer logic gates to use light,
用转化过的光
instead of inefficiently
代替当下低效的电子脉冲
converting light to electrical impulses and back again like some do now.
其纠缠态可应用于量子计算机
Or they could be used in quantum computing to carry information,
用以传递信息
thanks to their entangled state.
或者加入更多光子 使其作用更强
OR if adding more photons to the mix makes them interact more strongly,
甚至可能形成光晶体
maybe it’s possible to make entire crystals out of light!
时间和更多研究会告诉我们 所以需要更多研究
Time and more research will tell, so moreresearch is needed.
像光一样生活 花一秒来关注一下
Be the light of our life, take a sec, andsubscribe.
说到量子热 听说过科学家们向太空发射粒子吗
Speaking of quantum craziness, did you hear scientists teleported stuff to SPACE?
会有一位天菜在这里讨论它
A handsome devil talks about it here.
可见光谱内的光子通常不相互作用
While photons in the visible spectrum usually won’t interact,
而高能光子
very high energy photons
成键的概率更高
have a higher probability of bouncing off one another,
这一过程称为γ射线散射
the process called gamma-gamma scattering.
感谢您的眼睛接收我们的光子
Thanks for absorbing our photons into youreyeballs.

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这种新型的光其实是一种微粒

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5M59ipIQCsA

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