UCF researchers develop first sypersymmetric laser array

February 28, 2019

A team of University of Central Florida researchers has overcome a long-standing problem in laser science, and the findings could have applications in surgery, drilling and 3D laser mapping.

Using the principle of supersymmetry, they have developed the first supersymmetric laser array. Their findings were published recently in the journal Science.

Supersymmetry is a conjecture in physics that says every particle of matter, such as an electron, has one or more superpartners that is the same except for a precise difference in their momentum.

"This is the first demonstration of a supersymmetric laser array that is promising to meet the needs for high power integrated laser arrays with a high-quality beam emission," said study co-author Mercedeh Khajavikhan, an associate professor of optics and photonics in UCF's College of Optics and Photonics.

Khajavikhan lead the team that developed the laser array, which is comprised of rows of lasers and is able to produce large output power and high beam quality.

This is a first array that consistently generates high radiance, as previous designs have resulted in degraded beam quality.

Khajavikhan said that earlier work by Demetrios Christodoulides, a Pegasus professor of optics and photonics, Cobb Family Endowed Chair in the college and study co-author, suggested the use of supersymmetry in optics and her team has explored it further in its studies.

"However, it is only recently that my group managed to bring these ideas in actual laser settings, where such notions can be fruitfully used to address real problems in photonics," she said.

The trick in her team's laser arrays is spacing lasers beside each other using calculations that take into account supersymmetry.

She said this development is very important in many areas that a high-power integrated laser is needed.

"We foresee many applications of supersymmetric laser arrays in medicine, military, industry and communications, wherever there is a need for high power integrated laser arrays having a high beam quality," Khajavikhan said.

One exciting application could be in the use of LIDAR, which uses lasers to survey and map 3D terrain and is used in fields such as self-driving cars, archaeology, forestry, atmospheric physics and more.

"LIDAR requires a high-power and high-beam quality laser," Khajavikhan said. "Currently, because of the lack of this type of lasers in integrated form, they use other kinds of lasers. The supersymmetric laser provides an integrated high-power laser solution that also shows high beam quality."
Co-authors of the study include Mohammad P. Hokmabadi, the study's lead author and a postdoctoral associate in the College of Optics and Photonics; Nicholas S. Nye, a graduate research assistant in the college; and Ramy El-Ganainy, an associate professor at Michigan Technological University and a UCF alumni.

Khajavikhan received a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota and master's and bachelor's degrees in electronics from Amirkabir University of Technology in Iran. She joined UCF in 2012.

University of Central Florida

Related Physics Articles from Brightsurf:

Helium, a little atom for big physics
Helium is the simplest multi-body atom. Its energy levels can be calculated with extremely high precision only relying on a few fundamental physical constants and the quantum electrodynamics (QED) theory.

Hyperbolic metamaterials exhibit 2T physics
According to Igor Smolyaninov of the University of Maryland, ''One of the more unusual applications of metamaterials was a theoretical proposal to construct a physical system that would exhibit two-time physics behavior on small scales.''

Challenges and opportunities for women in physics
Women in the United States hold fewer than 25% of bachelor's degrees, 20% of doctoral degrees and 19% of faculty positions in physics.

Indeterminist physics for an open world
Classical physics is characterized by the equations describing the world.

Leptons help in tracking new physics
Electrons with 'colleagues' -- other leptons - are one of many products of collisions observed in the LHCb experiment at the Large Hadron Collider.

Has physics ever been deterministic?
Researchers from the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the University of Vienna and the University of Geneva, have proposed a new interpretation of classical physics without real numbers.

Twisted physics
A new study in the journal Nature shows that superconductivity in bilayer graphene can be turned on or off with a small voltage change, increasing its usefulness for electronic devices.

Physics vs. asthma
A research team from the MIPT Center for Molecular Mechanisms of Aging and Age-Related Diseases has collaborated with colleagues from the U.S., Canada, France, and Germany to determine the spatial structure of the CysLT1 receptor.

2D topological physics from shaking a 1D wire
Published in Physical Review X, this new study propose a realistic scheme to observe a 'cold-atomic quantum Hall effect.'

Helping physics teachers who don't know physics
A shortage of high school physics teachers has led to teachers with little-to-no training taking over physics classrooms, reports show.

Read More: Physics News and Physics Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.