If you conduct a little experiment and cross the beams of two flashlights, you’ll find that nothing happens (unless, of course, except for the increased brightness). The reason is that photons of light do not interact, but rather pass through each other like ghosts. But what if it was not so light particles like atoms could attract and repel each other? It is possible that in this case the rays of light complemented each other, merging into a single powerful luminous flux.
This may seem fantastic, impossible given our current laws of physics. Nevertheless, experts from mit have found a way to make photons interact with each other. The portal Science Daily describes an experiment in which scientists were able to blind between three particles of light, creating thus a completely new view of the world.
Similar successful experiments took place in 2013. Then the scientists were able to capture the interaction between pairs of photons. In this new work of researchers was attracted by the opportunity to link three or more light particles. They missed the very weak laser light through a cloud of ultracold rubidium atoms and the outlet noted that the photons are combined in pairs and triplets. Unlike photons, having mass and moving at a speed of 300,000 kilometers per second, the photons in the experiment gained weight proportion of the electron and slowed down approximately in 100 thousand times.
To explain this phenomenon, scientists have developed a special physical model. According to researchers, a few photons, passing through dense rubidium cloud, jump from one atom to another. They are so-called polaritons — half photons and half atoms. They can interact with each other, connecting through their atomic components. The output from the cloud again polaritons into photons, but retain the connection. That is to say, “remember” their physical condition inside the cloud.
Scientists say that photons can be considered as entangled, allowing them to be used in the optical fiber and opens up new opportunities for information transmission and quantum computing.
The researchers hope to discover other interesting forms of interaction of photons, for example, repulsion or perhaps even the formation of regular patterns and crystals.