The results of these experiments were presented to the world in 1673, which means 350 years have passed since then. However, modern researchers have been able to tap into Huygens’ wisdom, and their endeavors have led to connections between the most surprising properties of light.
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The background to the new research is presented in the publication published in Physical review research. As one of the authors, Xiaofeng Qian, explains, the progress made has confirmed that by applying mechanical concepts, it is possible to understand optical systems in a completely new way. The object of interest of the members of the research team was polarization and so-called non-quantum entanglement.
In the case of these two properties, we can talk about a major influence on how we understand the workings of the universe. In a quantum sense, light can be described as waves propagating through space or particles located at a single point. Although it has been known for decades that light sometimes behaves as a wave and sometimes as a particle, comparing the two phenomena has been extremely difficult.
The subject of interest to the authors of the new research was the mysteries of light, which Christian Huygens has been working on for 350 years.
It is unfortunate that recent research has not resulted in significant progress in solving the problem, but it has undoubtedly provided significant progress. In what way? The idea is to show the connections between the concepts of waves and particles at both the quantum and non-quantum levels. The proposed entanglement means that by knowing the properties of one particle, we can know the properties of another particle. Polarization, in turn, is the directional property of a light wave that oscillates up and down or left and right.
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As the authors of the new analyzes explain, they envisioned a mechanical system to which Huygens’ theory could be applied. As it turns out, the degree of polarization of a light wave was related to the degree of a property known as vector space entanglement. According to the researchers, the game is witnessing an increase on one side, while the other side is witnessing a decline – and vice versa. It is therefore possible to draw conclusions about the level of entanglement directly from the level of polarization and vice versa.
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