This is an illustration of the single-photon cannon. A quantum dot (illustrated with the yellow symbol) emits one photon (red wave packet) at a time. The quantum dot is embedded in a photonic-crystal structure, which is obtained by etching holes (black circles) in a semiconducting material (light grey). Due to the holes, the photons are not emitted in all directions, but only along the channel where there are no holes. Only 1.6 percent of the emitted photons will be emitted in other directions (illustrated by the upward moving photon) and is thus lost, while 98.4 percent are emitted in the desired direction.
Image credit: Marta Arcari, Niels Bohr Institute
A recurring theme in my writing is that beings and objects made of light particles – photons – can and do exist in a parallel dimension, and humanity will in future evolve bodies of light. So it is always of interest to learn that scientists are making advances in ways to make “matter” from photons instead of electrons. Scientists at the University of Copenhagen - Niels Bohr Institute have just taken another stride forward.
Electronic circuits are based on electrons, but one of the most promising technologies for future quantum circuits are “photonic” circuits, i.e. circuits based on light (photons) instead of electrons. The first step is to be able to create a stream of single photons and control their direction. Photons and electrons behave very differently at the quantum level. A quantum is the smallest unit in the atomic world and photons are the basic units of light, as electrons are of electrical current. While electrons are fermions that easily flow individually, photons are bosons that prefer to clump together. But because quantum information lies in the individual photon, it is necessary to be able to send them one at a time. You do this by creating an extremely strong interaction between light and matter.
Scientists at the Niels Bohr Institute have succeeded in creating a steady stream of photons emitted one at a time and in a particular direction. The researchers have developed a kind of single-photon cannon integrated on an optical chip. This chip consists of an extremely small photonic crystal that is 10 microns wide (1 micron is a thousandth of a millimeter) and 160 nanometers thick (1 nanometer is a thousandth of micron.) Embedded in the centre of the chip is a light source, a so-called quantum dot.
They shine laser light on the quantum dot, where there are atoms with electrons in orbit around the nucleus. The laser light excites the electrons, which then jump from one orbit to another and thereby emit one photon at a time. Normally, light is scattered in all directions, but they have designed the photonic chip so that all of the photons are sent through only one channel. It is extremely effective, controlling the photons and sending them in the desired with a 98.4 percent success rate. This is ultimate control over the interaction between matter and light.
Most physical life on Earth is made possible by the process of photosynthesis. The future superhuman light body will be nourished directly from the light source of the quantum dot, which derives its source from the Sun–behind-the-Sun. Once we learn to generate “light matter,” we will also be able to convert particles into waves and transport things – and ourselves – from one point to another in an instant, using a process called “super-positioning.” What the last generation considered to be science fiction, will be the next generation’s fact.