The light in the form of a smoke ring behaves like a particle

The light in the form of a smoke ring behaves like a particle

The light can be shaped into a twisted smoke ring-like structure. Credit: Y. Shen and Z. Zhu.

In our daily lives we can frequently find a local wave structure that maintains its shape as it propagates – picture a smoke ring floating through the air. Similar stable structures have been studied in various research fields and can be found in magnets, nuclear systems, and particle physics. Unlike the smoke ring, it can be made resilient to turbulence. In mathematics and physics this is known as topological protection.

A typical example is the tornado-like nanotexture of a magnetic field in thin magnetic membranes, behaving like particles – that is, not changing their shape – called Skyrmions. Similar donut-shaped (or toroidal) patterns in three-dimensional space, depicting complex spatial distributions of different wave properties, are called leaps. realization of such structures with light waves Very elusive.

Recent studies of structured light have revealed strong spatial differences in polarization, phase, and amplitude, which enable understanding of—and open design opportunities for—topologically stable optical structures that behave like particles. Such photonic particles that control diverse topological properties may have great potential, for example, as next-generation information carriers for ultrahigh-capacity optical information transfer, as well as in quantum technologies.

As stated in advanced photonicscollaborating physicists from the UK and China recently demonstrated the generation of polarization modes with topologically designed properties in three dimensions, which, for the first time, can be controlled and propagated in free space.

The light in the form of a smoke ring behaves like a particle

(a) The domain of the parameter space representing the rotation: the longitudes and degrees of latitude (α and β) of the 2-sphere are represented by the gradient color and the lightness of the light (dark towards the South Pole, where the rotation is downward, and bright towards the North Pole, where it is spin up). Each point on a 2-parametric sphere corresponds to a closed iso-spin line located in three-dimensional Euclidean space. (b) Lines projected from points marked at the same latitude β and different longitude α on the suprasphere (shaded by solid dots with corresponding gradient colors), form an annular node covering a torus (with different tori corresponding to different β). (c) Real-space visualization of the Hopf fibrosis as a complete stereogram of a supersphere: annular nodes arranged on a set of axially interlaced puncta, with each torus corresponding to a different latitude β of a parametric sphere β. The black circle corresponds to the south pole (rotated downward) and the axis The overlapping tori corresponds to the north pole (spin up) in (a). (d) The 3D spin distribution in the hopfion, corresponding to the isospin lines in (c) with each spin vector colored by its α and γ parameters in a parametric domain in (a) as shown in the supplement. (e,f) Cross-section view of the spin distribution in (d): (e) xy (z = 0) and (f) y (x = 0) sky-head-like structures with gray arrows marking the sky vortex. The color scale is the same corresponding to the direction of rotation in (d). Credit: Shen et al., doi 10.1117/1.AP.5.1.015001

As a result of this insight, many important developments and new perspectives have been presented. “We report a new and highly unusual ordered light family of 3D topological solitons, the photonic hops, in which topological textures and topological numbers can be tuned freely and independently, far exceeding previously described fixed lower-order topological structures,” says Yijie Shen of the University of Southampton UK, lead author of the paper.

“Our results demonstrate the immense beauty of light structures. We hope they will inspire further investigations towards the potential applications of topologically protected light configurations in optical communication, quantum technologies, light-matter interactions, super-resolution microscopy and metrology,” says Anatoly Zyats, professor at King’s College London. and project leader.

This work presents a theoretical background describing the emergence, experimental generation, and characterization of this hope family, revealing a rich structure of topologically protected polarizable materials. In contrast to previous observations of localized jumps in solid-state materials, this work shows that, counterintuitively, optical jumps can propagate in Empty space With topological protection for polarization distribution.

The robust topological structure of photonic hops shown on propagation is often sought in applications.

This newly developed model of photonic topological jumps can be easily extended to other topological configurations of higher order in other branches of physics. High-order lapses remain a major challenge to watch in other physics communities, from high energy physics to magnetic materials. The optical approach proposed in this work may provide a deeper understanding of this complex field than structures in other branches of physics.

more information:
Yijie Shen et al, Topological transformation and free-space transport of photonic hops, advanced photonics (2023). DOI: 10.1117/1.AP.5.1.015001

the quotePhotonic Hopfions: Light in the form of a smoke ring that behaves like a particle (2023, January 19) Retrieved January 20, 2023 from

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