Photonic counterparts of Cooper pairs
Marcelo Franca Santos
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
Mon, Dec. 04th 2017, 14:00-15:00
Bât. K, Salle R. Lemaire (K223), Institut Néel

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Photons are the elementary particles of light. Contrary to most particles, photons do not interact directly with each other in vacuum. However, when propagating in a material, e.g. water, photon pairs may interact through the medium. In the Raman effect, for example, it is possible that a photon creates or absorbs a vibrational excitation of the material. In this work, we demonstrate theoretically and experimentally that photon pairs may interact via a virtual vibration, meaning that the energy exchanged in the process does not correspond to a quantum of vibrational energy. The same process occurs in a metal at very low temperatures, where virtual vibrations of the medium create an effective attractive interaction between electrons, forming the so-called Cooper pairs. This phenomenon changes a normal metal into a superconductor. We have shown the analogue of this phenomenon with light, namely an effective photon-photon interaction mediated by a virtual vibration, i.e, a photonic-like Cooper pair. An important next step is to test how far the analogy with superconductivity extends.

Contact : Michel BENINI


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