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Jan 09, 2017 09:36 AM EST

Be Ready For The Next Quantum Revolution: Jellyfish Lasers

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Quantum mechanics is full of weird theories and things which are not limited to stars and outer space. In fact, there are still a lot weird objects and phenomena here on Earth that are enough to fill the curiosity of quantum scientists, the latest of which are the jellyfish lasers.

In simple terms, what the scientists did was combine jellyfish, a mirror, and e. Coli bacteria to produce what they call as polariton lasers. According to the researchers, this type of laser is much more compact and efficient than the one being used now. If they become available more in the future, it could open up a lot more avenues in the areas of optical computing and quantum physics.

Traditionally, polariton lasers use inorganic semiconductors which needed to cool down to very low temperatures. Some polariton lasers are based on organic electronics materials which can be used at room temperature. These are the ones used in OLED displays. However, they need to be powered by picosecond pulses of light, which is around one-trillionth of a second.

Producing picoseconds of light pulses is much more difficult than producing nanosecond pulses. With the recent breakthrough, however, they were able to produce polariton lasers powered by nanosecond light pulses.

What the researchers basically did was get a bed of e. Coli bacteria to produce a green fluorescent protein derived from a species of jellyfish called Aequorea victoria. Then, they placed them inside a nanometer-scale cylindrical shell so that they will not interfere with each other.

Compared to previous designs using the same experiment, this strategy works well because the laser gives off much longer pump pulses and much easier to implement. Despite the breakthrough, the researchers said that there is still a lot of work to be done because the threshold is very high.

The research has been published in the journal Science Advances.

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