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Flashes of brilliance
Date:11/25/2013

where continua of electronic states, or bands, exist."

The Kono team's goal was to keep the particles as dense as possible at liquid helium temperatures (about -450 degrees Fahrenheit) so that their quantum states were obvious, or "quantum degenerate," which happens when the so-called Fermi energy is much larger than the thermal energy. When pumped by a strong laser, these quantum degenerate particles gathered energy and released it as light at the Fermi edge: the energy level of the most energetic particles in the system. As the electrons and holes combined to release photons, the edge shifted to lower-energy particles and triggered more reactions until the sequence played out.

The researchers found the emitted light shifted toward the higher red wavelengths as the burst progressed.

"What's cool about this is that we have a material, we excite it with a 150-femtosecond pulse, wait for 100 picoseconds, and all of a sudden a picosecond pulse comes out. It's a long delay," Kono said. "This may lead to a new method for producing picosecond pulses from a solid. We saw something essentially the same previously, but it required high magnetic fields, so there was no practical application. But now the present work demonstrates that we don't need a magnet."


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Contact: David Ruth
david@rice.edu
713-348-6327
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3

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