Magnetic switching is typically a continuous process, where a field pulse rotates a magnet from up to down, but it is now possible to do this faster — and with all-optical methods — by first quenching the magnetization to zero and then repolarizing it in the opposite direction.
This design of atomic quantum memory tells us when a pulse of light has been successfully stored and then proceeds to retrieve it without significantly affecting its polarization. The exquisite operation provides a new capability for quantum information networks.
A proposal for obtaining optical resolution better than the classical limit by means of spatially entangled quantum states of light opens a new frontier in the fields of quantum optical imaging, metrology, and sensing.
The blurring effects of diffraction pose an obstacle to transmitting an image with all-optical technology. A method to reduce diffraction that takes advantage of the thermal motion of atoms could prove a way to keep images sharp.
Metamaterials can be designed to rotate light as it passes through them. If the effect is strong enough, it can lead to the material having a negative index of refraction and light bouncing around very differently than expected.
Preparing a harmonic oscillator in a state with a well-defined energy is a tricky business. With the new tools provided by cavity and circuit quantum electrodynamics it is now possible to make these pure quantum states and watch how they evolve in time.
Physics1, 20 (2008) – Published September 15, 2008
Thick layers of disordered materials, such as milk or snow, scatter light so that very little of it gets through. Theorists say that a properly designed combination of incident light waves would be almost completely transmitted and we now have experimental proof of this remarkable result.