Using light pulses, the team at Iowa State University accelerated pairs of electrons (known as Cooper Pairs) through a supercurrent. According to Jigang Wang – the leader of the team – this shouldn’t be possible.
At terahertz frequencies, pulses of light were used to accelerate these particle pairs. While tracking the electrons, the team noticed light emissions at twice the frequency of the initial light pulses used to accelerate the pairs of electrons. The researchers refer to this as ‘second harmonic light emissions’. Wang says that such emissions go against conventional knowledge – it shouldn’t be possible within a superconductor.
According to Wang, this is one of several occurrences researchers have observed which shouldn’t be possible with the current laws of physics.
Nevertheless, the team is convinced that what they are observing will give them important access into the realm of quantum. “This will be useful in the development of future quantum computing strategies and electronics with high speeds and low energy consumption” said Wang.
These developments will likely give researchers insight into a quantum phenomena known as forbidden Anderson pseudospin precisions.
Just as transistors replaced vacuum tubes and opened up many more possibilities when it came to electronics, scientists hope that the research currently being undertaken will give insight into the next ‘leap forward’ in electronics and computing. As Ilias Perakis of the University of Alabama at Birmingham put it, “scientists are searching for a leap forward in design principles and novel devices in order to achieve quantum computing and communication capabilities.”
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