Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Transfer of atomic mass with a photon solves the momentum paradox of light
by Staff Writers
Helsinki, Finland (SPX) Jul 07, 2017


The optical force on atoms forms a mass density wave that propagates with light through the crystal. Credit Jyrki Hokkanen / CSC - IT Center for Science

In a recent publication, Aalto University researchers show that in a transparent medium each photon is accompanied by an atomic mass density wave. The optical force of the photon sets the medium atoms in motion and makes them carry 92% of the total momentum of light, in the case of silicon.

The novel discovery solves the centennial momentum paradox of light. In the literature, there has existed two different values for the momentum of light in the transparent medium. Typically, these values differ by a factor of ten and this discrepancy is known as the momentum paradox of light. The difference between the momentum values is caused by neglecting the momentum of atoms moving with the light pulse.

To solve the momentum paradox the authors prove that the special theory of relativity requires an extra atomic density to travel with the photon. In related classical computer simulations, they use optical force field and Newton's second law to show that a wave of increased atomic mass density is propagating through the medium with the light pulse.

The mass transfer leads to splitting of the total momentum of light into two components. The fields' share of momentum is equal to the Abraham momentum while the total momentum, which includes also the momentum of atoms driven forward by the optical force, is equal to the Minkowski momentum.

"Since our work is theoretical and computational it must be still verified experimentally, before it can become a standard model of light in a transparent medium. Measuring the total momentum of a light pulse is not enough but one also has to measure the transferred atomic mass. This should be feasible using present interferometric and microscopic techniques and common photonic materials", researcher Mikko Partanen says.

Potential interstellar applications of the discovery
The researchers are working on potential optomechanical applications enabled by the optical shock wave of atoms predicted by the new theory. However, the theory applies not only to transparent liquids and solids but also to dilute interstellar gas.

Using a simple kinematic consideration it can be shown that the energy loss caused by the mass transfer effect becomes for dilute interstellar gas proportional to the photon energy and distance travelled by light.

"This prompts for further simulations with realistic parameters for interstellar gas density, plasma properties and temperature. Presently the Hubble's law is explained by Doppler shift being larger from distant stars.

"This effectively supports the hypothesis of expanding universe. In the mass polariton theory of light this hypothesis is not needed since redshift becomes automatically proportional to the distance from the star to the observer", explains Professor Jukka Tulkki.

Research paper

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Tiny 'motors' are driven by light
Boston MA (SPX) Jul 03, 2017
Science fiction is full of fanciful devices that allow light to interact forcefully with matter, from light sabers to photon-drive rockets. In recent years, science has begun to catch up; some results hint at interesting real-world interactions between light and matter at atomic scales, and researchers have produced devices such as optical tractor beams, tweezers, and vortex beams. Now, a ... read more

Related Links
Aalto University
Stellar Chemistry, The Universe And All Within It

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
As the world embraces space, the 50 year old Outer Space Treaty needs adaptation

Dutch project tests floating cities to seek more space

Creating Trends in Space: An Interview with NanoRacks CEO Jeffrey Manber

Trump offers bold space goals but fills in few details

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Aerojet Rocketdyne tests Advanced Electric Propulsion System

Spiky ferrofluid thrusters can move satellites

After two delays, SpaceX launches broadband satellite for IntelSat

On the road to creating an electrodeless spacecraft propulsion engine

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Mars surface 'more uninhabitable' than thought: study

Mars Rover Opportunity continuing science campaign at Perseverance Valley

The Niagara Falls of Mars once flowed with lava

Russian Devices for ExoMars Mission to Be Ready in Fall 2017

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
China develops sea launches to boost space commerce

Chinese satellite Zhongxing-9A enters preset orbit

Chinese Space Program: From Setback, to Manned Flights, to the Moon

Chinese Rocket Fizzles Out, Puts Other Launches on Hold

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
100M Pound boost for UK space sector

Iridium Poised to Make Global Maritime Distress and Safety System History

HTS Capacity Lease Revenues to Reach More Than $6 Billion by 2025

SES Transfers Capacity from AMC-9 Satellite Following Significant Anomaly

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Spacepath Communications Announces Innovative Frequency Converter Systems

Sorting complicated knots

Engineers find way to evaluate green roofs

Nature-inspired material uses liquid reinforcement

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
More to Life Than the Habitable Zone

Evidence discovered for two distinct giant planet populations

A cosmic barbecue: Researchers spot 60 new 'hot Jupiter' candidates

Re-making planets after star-death

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
NASA spacecraft to fly over Jupiter's Great Red Spot

New Mysteries Surround New Horizons' Next Flyby Target

Mid-infrared images from the Subaru telescope extend Juno spacecraft discoveries

Earth-based Views of Jupiter to Enhance Juno Flyby




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement