Apr 6, 2016

New Discovery May Allow Us to Harness the Power of a Photon’s Spin

Posted by in category: particle physics

A strange new property of light, which correlates the spin of a light wave’s electric field with its momentum, could usher in a new age in photonics.

A new discovery links the spin and momentum of light waves, and could mean a major advance in the development of new photonic and spintronic devices.

Scientists from Purdue University have discovered a property of light waves called “spin-momentum locking,” which means that a rotating electric field accompanying light moves in a certain direction according to the photons’ momentum. In other words, light waves spinning counterclockwise move only “forward,” those spinning clockwise move only “backward.”

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