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Physicists develop a novel quantum theory of light-induced matter

The “light-induced phase” of matter is explained by a new quantum theory that was recently created by a team lead by a physicist from the City University of Hong Kong (CityU) and forecasts its revolutionary functions. The area of quantum photonics and quantum control at room temperature may be completely altered by the new theory. It also makes a number of future light-based technologies possible, including optical communications, quantum computing, and light-harvesting ones.

In addition to the common solid, liquid, and gas phases of matter, scientists have discovered unusual phases. Additionally, the properties of the matter may vary depending on the many phases in which the atoms travel through specific spatial configurations. Light-induced phases, one group of the recently discovered phases, have attracted a lot of interest from scientists in the last ten years since they are thought to offer a viable platform for new solar panels, new chemical platforms, as well as a new route for contemporary quantum technologies.

The study’s principal investigator, Dr. Zhang Zhedong, an assistant professor of physics at CityU, said that the ultrafast processes of photoactive molecules, such as electron transfer and energy redistribution, which are typically at the femtosecond scale (10–15s), are crucial for light-harvesting devices, energy conversion, and quantum computing. Physical Review Letters published the research under the heading “Multidimensional coherent spectroscopy for molecular polaritons: Langevin approach.”

“However, there are many unknowns in the research on these processes. Since the majority of theories on light-induced phases are constrained by time and energy scales, they are unable to explain how short laser pulses affect molecules’ transient characteristics and ultrafast processes. These place an essential restriction on the study of light-induced phases of matter.

The world’s first innovative quantum theory for the optical signals of the light-induced phases of molecules was created by Dr. Zhang and his colleagues as a solution to these problems. By using mathematical analysis and numerical simulations to explain the dynamics of molecules in their excited states as well as their optical properties in real-time, the new theory circumvents the limitations of earlier theories and methods.

The novel theory combines ultrafast spectroscopy with cutting-edge quantum electrodynamics. It explains the nonlinear dynamics of molecules using contemporary algebra, laying the groundwork for cutting-edge technical applications for lasers and material characterization. Thus, it presents novel optical detection and quantum metrology principles.

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