New Microscope Is So Powerful It Might Revolutionize Quantum Science

By: | June 9th, 2020

The quantum microscope. Image courtesy: American Technion Society

In a big breakthrough, scientists have successfully made quantum microscope that can directly observe light trapped inside a photonic crystal.

This research opens up a new realm of possibility for quantum scientists

It was conducted using ultrafast transmission electron microscope at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, a public research university in Haifa, Israel.

Technion Professor Ido Kaminer explained, “We have developed an electron microscope that produces, what is in many respects, the best near- field optical microscopy in the world. Using our microscope, we can change the color and angle of light that illuminates any sample of nano materials and map their interactions with electrons, as we demonstrated with photonic crystals.”

Now using this microscopy technique, researchers can easily understand the behavior of particles like photons and electrons.  Researchers can now examine the interactions that happen while the light is trapped inside a nanomaterial. This has pushed the limits of observability, now researchers can observe phenomena which they had to model or simulate.

Dr. Kangpeng Wang, first author on the paper, said, “This is the first time we can actually see the dynamics of light while it is trapped in nano materials, rather than relying on computer simulations,”

It is a big achievement, scientists are expecting to see an explosion of breakthroughs as a result of this

It could be helpful in applications like designing and producing new quantum materials that can store quantum bits with greater stability. It is also expected to help in improving the sharpness of colors on cell phones and other kinds of screens.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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