Physicists have found a radical new New theory leads to ‘radiationless revolution’: Physicists have found a radical new way confine electromagnetic energy without it leaking away, akin to throwing a pebble into a pond with no splash…
The theory could have broad ranging applications from explaining dark matter to combating energy losses in future technologies.
However, it appears to contradict a fundamental tenet of electrodynamics, that accelerated charges create electromagnetic radiation, said lead researcher Dr Andrey Miroshnichenko from The Australian National University…
“This problem has puzzled many people. It took us a year to get this concept clear in our heads,” said Dr Miroshnichenko, from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.
The fundamental new theory could be used in quantum computers, lead to new laser technology and may even hold the key to understanding how matter itself hangs together.
“Ever since the beginning of quantum mechanics people have been looking for a configuration which could explain the stability of atoms and why orbiting electrons do not radiate,” Dr Miroshnichenko said.
The absence of radiation is the result of the current being divided between two different components, a conventional electric dipole and a toroidal dipole (associated with poloidal current configuration), which produce identical fields at a distance.
If these two configurations are out of phase then the radiation will be cancelled out, even though the electromagnetic fields are non-zero in the area close to the currents.
Dr Miroshnichenko, in collaboration with colleagues from Germany and Singapore, successfully tested his new theory with a single silicon nanodiscs between 160 and 310 nanometres in diameter and 50 nanometres high, which he was able to make effectively invisible by cancelling the disc’s scattering of visible light.
This type of excitation is known as an anapole (from the Greek, ‘without poles’).
Um, OK. Like any physics including the word “quantum” – I usually end up asking SmartAlix to explain it to me. Which he does at least once a year.
Understanding lasts about 5 minutes in this old brain of mine.