Scientists have developed the easiest optical mirror, consisting of only one structured layer of several hundred identical atoms.
As mirrors, polished metal surfaces or glass with a special coating are usually used to improve their reflection characteristics. However, physicists from the Institute of Quantum Optics of the Max Planck Society for the first time demonstrated that a similar result can be achieved using a layer of structured atoms located in a two-dimensional array of laser rays.
A new mirror has a thickness of only a few tens of nanometers and a diameter of about seven microns. Although a person is not able to see him with a naked eye, but could notice the reflection created by them.
Such effectiveness is achieved due to the fact that the mirror has a specific structure that suppresses diffuse scattering of light and is reflected in the stable unidirectional beam. In addition, due to the close and discrete distance between atoms, incoming photons can be reflected several times from them before they break out, which further enhances the outgoing flow.
Nevertheless, such a mirror is unlikely to begin to be used in everyday life, because during the experiment it was created inside a complex installation, weighing about two tons. However, the study can help develop more advanced quantum computers, the study of quantum-optical phenomena and verification of the theories of the interaction of light with a substance.
Recall that scientists from MIPT have recently created
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