Part particle and part liquid, Quantum droplet is a newly discovered quasi-particle. Also known as Dropleton, it is a collection of electrons and holes (where electrons are missing) inside a semi-conductor.
What’s more surprising is that its creation was not predicted in advance but came as a surprise during an experiment where a team of scientists led by physicist Steven Cundiff were working at Joint Institute for Lab Astrophysics (JILA) in Germany.
Most droplets are made up of thousands or even millions of electrons and holes. But a quantum droplet has roughly five electrons and five holes. The first quasi-particle is found to behave like a liquid having ripples which can exist only inside solid materials. Inside the particle, the electrons and holes flow around one another like particles in a liquid confine within a small droplet.
Quantum physics is a branch of Physics that relates to events taking place on the tiniest scale. It is essential in describing the structure of atoms.
At around 200 nanometers wide, they are about as big as some of the smallest bacteria. It lasted for only about 25 picoseconds (trillionths of a second) which are not much but stable enough for research on how light interacts with certain types of matter.
This discovery could be useful in the development of nanotechnology and also for designing optoelectronic device which includes semiconductor lasers used in Blu-ray disc players, DVD players, bar-code scanners, laser printers, fiber optic and communication equipments among others.
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