The first observation of de Broglie-McKinnon wave packets is made by exploiting a loophole in the 1980s theory

Researchers achieve the first observation of de Broglie-McKinnon wave packets by exploiting a loophole in laser physics in the 1980s.

Leighton Hall, UC Creole Graduate Research Assistant, 22ms (left) and Dr. Ayman Abu Rudi. Credit: University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida Optics and Photonics researchers made the first observation of de Broglie-McKinnon wave packets by exploiting a loophole in laser physics theory in the 1980s.

the Research paper Written by CREOL and the Florida Photonics Center of Excellence, Professor Ayman Abu Rudi and research assistant Leighton Hall are published in the journal. nature physics.

Observing the Broglie-Mackinnon light-wave beams highlights the team’s research using a class of pulsed laser beams they call space-wave beams.

In an interview with Dr. Abu Radhi, he provided more information about his team’s research and what it might hold for the future.

You’ve accomplished many “firsts” during this phase of your research. Would you give some history of the theoretical ideas that brought you here?

In the early days of the development of quantum mechanics nearly 100 years ago, Louis de Broglie made a crucial conceptual breakthrough in identifying waves with particles, sometimes called Wave-particle duality. However, a critical dilemma has not been resolved. Particles are spatially stable: their size does not change as they travel, but waves do and propagate through space and time. How does one construct a model of the waves proposed by de Broglie that corresponds to the particle precisely?

In the 1970s, L. MacKinnon proposed a solution by combining Einstein’s special theory of relativity with de Broglie waves to build a stable “wave packet” that does not propagate and can accompany a moving particle. This suggestion went unnoticed because there was no methodology for producing such a wave packet. In recent years my group has been working on a new class of beats Lasers which we’ve called “space-time wave packets,” which travel strictly inward Empty space.

In our latest paper, Leighton extended this behavior to propagation in dispersive media, which normally stretch light pulses—except for space-time wave packets that resist this stretching. He realized that the propagation of space-time wave packets in a medium with a special kind of scattering (the so-called ‘anomalous’ scattering) was consistent with McKinnon’s proposal. In other words, space-time wave packets hold the key to finally making de Broglie’s dream come true. By performing laser experiments along these lines, we have observed for the first time what we call de Broglie-McKinnon wave packets and verified their predicted properties.

What is special about your results?

There are many unique aspects to this paper. This is the first example of a pulse propagating stably in a medium with abnormal scattering. In fact, there is a well-known theory in laser physics from the 1980s that purports to prove that such a feat is impossible. We found a loophole in that theory that we exploited in designing our optical fields.

Also, all previous propagating unchanged pulsed fields were X-shaped. It has long been assumed that O-shaped stationary wave packets must exist, but they have never been observed. Our results reveal the first observed O-shaped stationary wave bands.

The United States Office of Naval Research supports your research. How are your results useful to them and others?

We don’t know yet exactly. However, these findings have practical consequences in terms of prevalence visual impulses in dispersed media without exposure to the harmful effect of dispersion.

These findings may pave the way for optical tests of solutions of the massive particle Klein-Gordon equation, and may also lead to the synthesis of non-dispersive wave beams using matter waves. This would also enable new sensor and microscope technologies.

What are the next steps?

This work is part of a larger study of the spatio-temporal propagation properties of wave packets. This includes the long-distance propagation of space-time wave packets that we are testing at the UCF Townes Institute’s Science and Technology Experiment Facility (TISTEF) on Florida’s Space Coast. From a fundamental perspective, the optical spectrum we used in our experiments lies in a closed path. This has not been achieved before, and it opens the way to study the topological structures of light on enclosed surfaces.

more information:
Layton A. Hall et al, Observing Broglie-Mackinnon Optical Beams, nature physics (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41567-022-01876-6

the quote: First observation of de Broglie-Mackinnon wave packets obtained by exploiting a loophole in 80s theory (2023, January 27) on January 29, 2023 from packets-exploit-loophole.html

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