Physicists have learned to bend the rays of light from any angle

27 Apr

Rays, LightPhysicists in Israel and France was forced to bend a beam of light at any angle without external influence. A unique discovery will be used in various fields, from industrial production to biophysical research.

Everyone knows that light can propagate rectilinearly and refracted. With the latter phenomenon we encounter, for example, when we put a straw in a glass of cocktail. Straw seems broken at the boundary of water and air. This optical illusion occurs because the index of refraction of light in water and air are not the same.

In outer space, light may also deviate from the straight-line propagation under the influence of strong gravitational fields produced by objects such as stars or black holes.

However, some forms of waves are bent on their own. For example, the Airy beam (Airy beam). The ability to self-bending of the light beam was opened in the late 1970s.

But see the effect of self-bending in the laboratory was only in 2007. A team of physicists from the University of Central Florida (University of Central Florida), received the Airy beam is experimentally achieved a small (up to 8 ˚) bending.

In recent years, theoretical and experimental research on the phenomenon of self-bending of the light beam reached an unprecedented level, says Science.

Recently, a team from the Technion Israel Institute (Technion) have found such solutions are Maxwell’s equations, which allowed to overcome the previously existing limitations of the Airy function. Scientists have substantiated the possibility of bending a beam of light at any angle, even in a circle.

At the same time, experts from the University of Franche-Comte found the initial phase values, which correspond to the decision of Israeli colleagues, not being aware of their achievements. French with a device called a spatial light modulator, have a beam that is bent at an angle of 60 ˚.

What is the principle of self-bending of the beam? Light – a “beam” of light waves, each of which is conditional peak and trough. These parts of the waves can “interact” with each other. For example, if the peak coincides with the trough, they cancel each other out. If the peaks are the same, there is a bright spot of light.

By controlling the initial position of the phase of the wave, you can get the light to change direction (up to the back, so it turns out negative velocity of light), removing “unnecessary” and increasing the required wavelength.

Opening of the Israelis and the French can be useful in a variety of areas: in industry, where the modification of the conventional laser beam will not create straight and curved at a right angle holes. It is difficult to underestimate the ability of light to use “self-bend” and the so-called optical tweezers.

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Posted by on April 27, 2012 in Historical


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