Jan 31, 2024

A Trojan approach to guide and trap light beams via Lagrange points

Posted by in categories: physics, space

Reliably guiding and capturing optical waves is central to the functioning of various contemporary technologies, including communication and information processing systems. The most conventional approach to guide light waves leverages the total internal reflection of optical fibers and other similar structures, yet recently physicists have been exploring the potential of techniques based on other physical mechanisms.

Researchers at University of Southern California recently devised a highly innovative approach for trapping light. This method, introduced in Nature Physics, exploits the exotic properties of Lagrange points, the same equilibrium points that govern the orbits of primordial celestial bodies, such as so-called Trojan asteroids in the sun-Jupiter system.

“The discovery of Lagrange points, which happens to be pivotal in this research, can be traced back to the early work of Leonhard Euler and Joseph-Louis Lagrange, which found that at these locations, the exerted by two large bodies can be precisely counterbalanced by centrifugal forces,” Mercedeh Khajavikhan and Demetrios N. Christodoulides, co-authors of the paper, told Phys.org.

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