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'Dropleton' quasiparticle makes its debut
physicsworld ^ | Feb 26, 2014 | Ian Randall

Posted on 03/03/2014 1:57:09 PM PST by Straight Vermonter

A new type of quasiparticle dubbed the quantum droplet, or "dropleton", has been identified by researchers in the US and Germany. Created in semiconductor quantum wells using ultrashort laser pulses, the dropleton comprises a small number of electrons and holes that are bound together in a liquid-like drop.

A quasiparticle is a collective excitation within a material that behaves like a fundamental particle. Recently, physicists have identified quasiparticles called levitons, orbitons, phonitons and even wrinklons – which occur in wrinkled fabrics such as curtains. Bound electrons and holes

The dropleton is related to a well-known quasiparticle called an exciton, which is formed when a semiconductor absorbs a photon. This action promotes an electron from the valence band to the conduction band, leaving behind a positively charged "hole" in the valence band. The electrostatic force binds the electron and the hole together to create an exciton, which moves through the semiconductor like a particle.

More complicated configurations of electrons and holes are known to exist, such as the biexciton, which has two electrons and two holes. Micron-sized droplets comprising many electrons and holes have also been seen in indirect-gap semiconductors such as germanium and silicon. However, these are formed by a thermodynamic process.

Now laser-induced droplets have been created in a direct-gap semiconductor by Steven Cundiff and colleagues at the University of Colorado and NIST in Boulder, and at Philipps-University in Marburg, Germany. Pump and probe

The researchers create their quantum droplets by firing laser pulses at gallium-arsenide quantum wells. These are 10 nm-thick layers of semiconductor separated by an insulating material. Each pulse "pumps" electrons into the conduction band and is followed by a "probe" laser pulse that is used to measure the absorption spectrum of the quantum wells.

At first, the measurement revealed that the ongoing pumping merely creates more excitons – just as expected. After a while, however, the team found that instead of pairing-up as excitons, the electrons and holes formed unpaired configurations. The result is neutrally charged droplets typically composed of about five electrons and five holes. Rising pressure

"This transition occurs because of the increasing density of electrons and holes injected by the pump pulses," explains Cundiff. He adds that the increased numbers of electrons and holes act to screen the electrostatic Coulomb attraction, which normally keeps excitons bound together. Furthermore, he explains that boosting the number of electrons and holes "increases the 'pressure' – actually caused by the Fermionic nature of the electrons and holes, and the Pauli exclusion principle – which stabilizes the quantum droplet".

Once in their new arrangement, the electrons and holes are not fixed in a rigid configuration. Instead, they are able to move around, much like particles within a liquid. It is this behaviour that inspired the team to dub the new quasiparticle a dropleton.

While the quantum droplets might not have any obvious practical applications, the researchers say their discovery could improve our understanding of how electrons interact in solids – and ultimately lead to better electronic devices. Even with their short lifetimes of about 25 ps, the droplets are stable enough to be studied. Cundiff and colleagues are now working to improve their quantum optical-spectroscopy technique, which will allow them to gain a better understanding of the behaviour of the droplets. Theory and experiment

Jim Wolfe – a physicist at the University of Illinois who was not involved in this study – told physicsworld.com that "The existence of a stable plasma droplet in a photoexcited gallium-arsenide quantum well is a very interesting and novel idea." He also commends the team for combining "compelling experimental evidence with detailed theoretical support".

Patrick Parkinson of the University of Oxford also considers the discovery to be important. "This work reports a highly interesting application of their quantum-spectroscopy scheme, both confirming its utility and revealing a previously unexplored many-body quasiparticle within an extremely well-studied material system," he says. Parkinson adds that he hopes further studies will more fully explore the dropleton's properties. "In particular, properties arising from its liquid-like pair correlation function are likely to be of great interest," he says.


TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS:
The research is described in Nature.
1 posted on 03/03/2014 1:57:09 PM PST by Straight Vermonter
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To: Straight Vermonter

translation: they’ve discovered flies in their soup?


2 posted on 03/03/2014 2:00:41 PM PST by faithhopecharity (" uri)
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To: All


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3 posted on 03/03/2014 2:01:12 PM PST by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: Straight Vermonter
"...levitons, orbitons, phonitons and even wrinklons – which occur in wrinkled fabrics such as curtains."

The other day I found an Idioton rolled up in an "science" article.

4 posted on 03/03/2014 2:03:12 PM PST by Dutchboy88
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To: Straight Vermonter
Can it be used in a Replicator to make coffee for voyager?


5 posted on 03/03/2014 2:11:31 PM PST by GraceG
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To: Straight Vermonter

All done by simpletons.....................


6 posted on 03/03/2014 2:14:25 PM PST by Red Badger (LIberal is an oxymoron......................)
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To: Straight Vermonter

Dropleton particle accelerator ping


7 posted on 03/03/2014 2:19:06 PM PST by dangerdoc (I don't think you should be forced to make the same decision I did even if I know I'm right.)
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To: GraceG

I kinda like the “before” *wink* :)


8 posted on 03/03/2014 2:21:46 PM PST by Mr. K (If you like your constitution, you can keep it...Period.)
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To: Mr. K

Janeway seemed almost obsessed to psychopathy about coffee, like she couldn’t get the doctor to give her a caffine hyospray....


9 posted on 03/03/2014 2:23:10 PM PST by GraceG
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To: dangerdoc

New particle a spouse like tandem particle for the Higgs particle

To be dubbed “Bosons Mate”. (I need to get out of the house more)


10 posted on 03/03/2014 2:24:27 PM PST by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: Red Badger

>All done by simpletons

In another 80 years, yes, this discovery will be simple compared to the breakthroughs that are coming in the understanding of physics. Infinity means you are never halfway there.


11 posted on 03/03/2014 2:44:24 PM PST by soycd
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To: soycd
Infinity means you are never halfway there.

I like it!
12 posted on 03/03/2014 2:52:27 PM PST by BigEdLB (Now there ARE 1,000,000 regrets - but it may be too late.)
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To: BigEdLB
Infinity means you are never halfway there.

Question is...

What happens when one is 100% there?
13 posted on 03/03/2014 3:15:56 PM PST by adorno (Y)
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To: Straight Vermonter

Once hostile, levitons, orbitons, phonitons and even wrinklons — all part of the Space Federation now.


14 posted on 03/03/2014 4:00:21 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: Red Badger

I thought the Excitron was created when the Me particle
came in to contact with the She particle.

“In particular, properties arising from its liquid-like pair correlation function are likely to be of great interest,” he says.


15 posted on 03/03/2014 4:08:24 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: soycd

Infinity means you are never halfway there.

So if you put the boys on one side of the room
and the girls on the other and every time they
moved they halfed the distance between them...

They would never touch, but would be close enough
for all practical purposes?

Buddhists know that when you think you are
90 percent there, you may be as much as half way..
Of course it could all be a big joke...
How can you be two places at once when you’re
not any where at all?


16 posted on 03/03/2014 4:17:16 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: adorno

>What happens when one is 100% there?

Well, if “there’ is defined as infinity, your are not really there yet. Children experience this conundrum or paradox when they are traveling to a vacation destination, or a distant Grandma’s house.


17 posted on 03/03/2014 4:30:26 PM PST by soycd
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To: GraceG

that’s funny- i never noticed that in the show

I have to say that the Janeway episodes were not real start-trek to me

I could deal with Piccard, but there is only one Kirk!

I even enjoyed the other version when they first started making trips to the stars but mostly so I could see that Vulcan chick in the anti-bacteria chambe ( i cant remember his name, her name, the series name, or the chamger where she got naked, so thet tells you how old I am)


18 posted on 03/03/2014 4:32:26 PM PST by Mr. K (If you like your constitution, you can keep it...Period.)
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To: adorno

You reach infinity on the y axis.


19 posted on 03/03/2014 4:47:34 PM PST by dangerdoc (I don't think you should be forced to make the same decision I did even if I know I'm right.)
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To: Straight Vermonter

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”: Albert Einstein.


20 posted on 03/03/2014 6:07:20 PM PST by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
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To: dangerdoc
You reach infinity on the y axis.

Unless the x-axis gets involved.

Which then presents another question...

If the x-axis gets in the way of the y-axis, will infinity be cut down by the value of where the x-axis met the y-axis?
21 posted on 03/03/2014 6:31:10 PM PST by adorno (Y)
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To: soycd
Children experience this conundrum or paradox when they are traveling to a vacation destination, or a distant Grandma’s house.

Nowadays, kids don't experience anything close to never-ending travel times, as long as they have their smartphones or tablets with them. When they get to Grandma's house, or to their vacation destination, they're going to be competing for the kids' attention against those tablets and smartphones.
22 posted on 03/03/2014 6:42:15 PM PST by adorno (Y)
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To: tet68

Which further illustrates the Divine Nature of the Universe. Opposites attract each other, otherwise you get zilch....................


23 posted on 03/04/2014 6:13:52 AM PST by Red Badger (LIberal is an oxymoron......................)
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