Crossover sound: Unambiguous evidence for coherent phonons in superlattices

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - 15:10 in Physics & Chemistry

We all learn in high school science about the dual nature of light - that it exists as both waves and quantum particles called photons. It is this duality of light that enables the coherent transport of photons in lasers. Sound at the atomic-scale has the same dual nature, existing as both waves and quasi-particles known as phonons. Does this duality allow for phonon-based lasers? Some theorists say yes, but the point has been argued for years. Recently a large collaboration, in which Berkeley Lab scientists played a prominent role, provided the first "unambiguous demonstration" of the coherent transport of phonons.

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