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Photons are caught behaving like superconducting electrons

Whether the particles of light can produce a supercurrent remains to be seen

3:21pm, October 30, 2017
laser light in water

PHOTON PAIRS  Laser light in water (shown) exhibits an unexpected quirk: Light particles interact with their companions in the same way electrons pair up in superconductors.

Light is a fan of the buddy system. Photons, or particles of light, have been spotted swapping energy with partners. This chummy behavior resembles how electrons pair up in materials that conduct current without resistance, known as superconductors, researchers report in a paper accepted in Physical Review Letters.

Although the photons exchange energy like electrons do, it’s unknown whether the particles are actually bound together as electrons are, and whether photons could produce an effect analogous to superconductivity. “This is a door that is opened,” says study coauthor Ado Jorio, a physicist at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil. Now, he says, the questions that must be addressed are, “How far can we push this similarity? Can we find with photons incredible results like we find for electrons?”

In certain solid

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