Researchers from the University of Cambridge discovered a new form of matter. Researchers claim it to be an anomalous phase of matter which has the potential to help people communicate with each other using different technologies without draining the energy or leading to any energy losses.
This matter is estimated to be 61 years old and it originally existed in the 1960s. If researchers make use of the matter it can save a lot of energy and thus would be energy efficient which is a great feature for the modern developing world. Science Advances was the first journal to publish this discovery. It is ranked 215 among all other journals and it is published by the “American Association for the Advancement of Science”, a renowned organization.
The researchers at the University of Cambridge were examining a quantum material when they made this discovery. The quantum material behaved strangely when it was subjected to short and intense laser pulses. When light is subjected in intervals and not in a continuous manner we refer to it as laser pulses. When these short and intense laser pulses were emitted on the material the researchers noticed waves of energy surge out of the material.
This phenomenon was observed through a microscopic camera that had the ability to catch slow and fast movements of energy and matter which were hard for the naked eye to notice. Even other advanced technologies fail to capture the movement.
The two laser pulses exposed to the material are the reason why we could observe such energy movement. The first laser pulse emitted basically tries to disturb the particles inside the matter and then tries to create waves that form a concentric circle that extend outward from the material. These concentric circles have a particular ‘speed limit’ which is calculated by researchers using the second laser pulse. This pulse contains the properties of a camera and thus captures images of the concentric circles being formed around the quantum material.
The speed limit of this material is also quite astonishing. The speed at normal room temperature is a hundredth of the speed of light which is much faster for any material at room temperature. But the same speed limit completely freezes when the material is placed in high temperatures. It feels as if there’s no movement happening in the material.
Researcher Hope Bretscher who conducted this experiment in the Cambridge Cavendish Laboratory observed the material and expressed that the waves were as still as a frozen pond. He did not understand what this phenomenon actually was.
A simple explanation for such wild behavior of the matter according to him is that the material at normal room temperature acts as an excitonic insulator phase of matter. He even explained that such a matter detection has not been seen for ages.
This excitonic insulator has a unique property where it contains charge-neutral particles which move quite similar to an electron and they can transport information without being bothered by the dissipation mechanism.
Due to such properties, this material can be used to make energy-efficient technologies in the future that can be used in various devices, says Dr. Akshay Rao.