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Focus: Light Seems to Pull Electrons Backward
Posted on Tuesday, August 06, 2019 @ 10:27:26 GMT by vlad

Science
Via Physics.aps.org: Light hitting a metal surface at an angle sends the electrons moving in the direction opposite to the light, a result that puzzles theorists.

Photonics en masse. Nanophotonic devices, such as these photonic chips on a silicon wafer, integrate light with electronics. Understanding light-matter interactions is essential for developing this technology, but new results clearly demonstrate that researchers don’t fully understand what happens when light hits a metal surface.

Physicists have long assumed that light hitting a metal surface at an angle pushes on the free electrons, moving them forward, yet some recent experiments show the opposite—incident light seems to pull electrons backward.


Based on new experiments, a team of researchers now offers partial clarification, at least on the experimental side. Metals in vacuum act one way, while those exposed to air behave differently, possibly because the light first interacts with molecules attached to the surface. The experiments cast doubt on researchers’ basic understanding of how light interacts with solid materials, knowledge that lies at the core of modern photonics technology...


 
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"Focus: Light Seems to Pull Electrons Backward" | Login/Create an Account | 1 comment | Search Discussion
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Topological Behavior Spotted in Photonic Systems (Score: 1)
by vlad on Tuesday, August 06, 2019 @ 10:34:04 GMT
(User Info | Send a Message) http://www.zpenergy.com
Another interesting article from Physics.aps.org : Two groups of researchers engineered semiconductor systems that sustain exotic phases of matter.

Because of unusual electronic band structures, some materials, such as graphene, can give rise to topological states of matter—exotic quantum states impervious to impurities and lattice deformations. This robustness makes these materials promising components of future quantum information devices, but it is difficult to manipulate the electrons to consistently produce topological states. Consequently, researchers have turned to photonic materials, such as silicon and other semiconductors, where topological states arise from the band structure of quasiparticles that are more easily tamed. Now, two independent groups have engineered two types of photonic materials to observe new topological phases and related behavior...




 

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