Researchers are predicting that split photons may also exist. This is a major paradigm change of how we understand light. Not only did the researchers find a new physical entity, but it was one that nobody believed could exist.
The theoretical discovery of the split photons – known as a “Majorana bosons” – advances the fundamental understanding of light and how it behaves. Every photon can be thought of as the sum of two distinct halves. The researchers were able to identify conditions for isolating these halves from one another. Similar to how liquid water can change into ice or vapor under specific conditions, the research indicates that light can also exist in a different phase – one where photons appear as two distinct halves – split photons.
Rather than pieces that can be physically pulled apart, the photon halves are similar to the two sides of a coin. The two distinct parts make up a whole, yet they can be described and function as separate units. The new split photons theory relies on energy-leaking cavities filled with quantum packets of light and predicts that particle halves appear at the edges of such a synthetic platform.
The research points the way toward uncovering new, exotic phases of matter and light. It is hard to predict how the findings may be applied, but the Majorana boson could support quantum computing, optical sensors, and light amplifiers.