Most of us don’t think of atoms as having their own unique vibrations, but they do. In fact, it’s a feature so fundamental to nature’s building blocks that a team of University of Washington researchers recently observed and used this phenomenon in their research study. By studying the light atoms emitted when stimulated by a laser, they were able to detect vibrations sometimes referred to as atomic “breathing.”
The result is a breakthrough that may one day allow us to build better tools for many kinds of quantum technologies.
Led by Mo Li, a professor of photonics and nano devices in both the UW Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the UW Physics Department, the researchers set out to build a better quantum emitter, or QE, one that could be incorporated into optical circuits.