Nov 6, 2019

Flatland light: Researchers create rewritable optical components for 2-D light waves

Posted by in categories: mathematics, nanotechnology, particle physics, transportation

In 1884, a schoolmaster and theologian named Edwin Abbott wrote a novella called Flatland, which tells the story of a world populated by sentient two-dimensional shapes. While intended as a satire of rigid Victorian social norms, Flatland has long fascinated mathematicians and physicists and served as the setting for many a thought experiment.

One such thought experiment: How can be controlled in two dimensions?

When a wave of light is confined on a two-dimensional plane by certain materials, it becomes something known as a —a particle that blurs the distinction between light and matter. Polaritons have exciting implications for the future of optical circuits because, unlike electronic integrated circuits, integrated optics is difficult to miniaturize with commonly used materials. Polaritons allow light to be tightly confined to the nanoscale, even potentially to the thickness of a few atoms.

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