The University of Bath in the United Kingdom physics researchers recently discovered a new physical impact relative to the interactions between light and twisted materials, an impact that's possible to have consequences for developing new nanotechnologies in communications, nanorobotics, as well as ultra-thin optical components.
According to a Phys.org report, during the 17th and 18th centuries, Antonio Stradivari, an Italian master craftsman, developed musical instruments of legendary quality, and most popular are his so-called "Stradivarius violins."
What's making the musical output of these musical instruments both extraordinary and beautiful is their specific timbre also called tone color or quality.
Essentially, all instruments have timbre, when sound with frequency or fs, or musical note is played, the instrument is producing harmonics. These are frequencies that are an integer multiple of the first frequency like "2fs, 3fs, 4fs, 5fs, and 6fs," among others.
Harmonics of Light
The harmonics of light show intricate material properties that discover applications in communication, medical imaging, not to mention, laser technology.
For example, virtually every green laser is actually, an infrared laser pointer with light, visible to human eyes. The green light seen, this report specified, is in fact the so-called 2fc or second harmonic of the infrared laser pointer, and it is generated by a distinct crystal inside the pointer.
In both musical instruments and shiny materials, the study, published in the Laser Photonics Review specified, some frequencies are prohibited. Meaning, they cannot be heard, neither seen, since the instrument or material is actively canceling them.
Meanwhile, since the clarinet features a straight, cylindrical shape, it is suppressing all of the even harmonics, (the 2fs, 4fs, and 6fs), and produces just 3fs, 5fs, and 7fs, among others, or the odd harmonies.
On the contrary, a saxophone features a conical and curved shape, enabling all harmonics and outcomes in a smoother and richer sound.
Twist of Nanoparticles
In a similar report, Reporter Wings specified that according to lead researcher, Professor Ventislav Valev, the notion that the twist of nanoparticles or molecules could be shown through even harmonics of light was initially formulated over four decades ago, by David Andrews, a young PhD student.
Andrews through his theory was quite elusive to ever be verified experimentally, although, two years ago, such a phenomenon has been demonstrated.
The researchers found they found that the twist of nanoparticles can be seen in the odd harmonics of light, too. It is particularly gratifying that the important theory was offered by no other than Andrews, the study's co-author and well-established professor.
To take a musical correlation until to date, scientists who investigate twisted molecules like amino acids, sugars, proteins, and DNA, among others, and nanoparticles in water, life's element have illuminated at a given frequency, and have either seen that the same frequency, or its inharmonic partial overtones or noise.
This particular study welcomes the investigation of harmonic signatures of such twisted molecules. Therefore, their timbre was appreciated for the first time.
The study also showed in the propellers for nanorobots, a similar EurekAlert! report said, that can impact the direction of propagation for a laser beam. Furthermore, the approach is applicable in small volumes of illumination, appropriate for the assessment of natural chemical products that are potential for startups pharmaceuticals although where the available material is frequently scarce.
According to Lukas Ohnoutek, a PhD student, who's also involved in the study, they came so close to missing the finding. Their first equipment was not properly tuned and thus, they kept observing nothing at the third-harmonic.
He also said he was beginning to lose hope although they had a meeting, determined probable issues, and examined them systematically until they detected the problem.
Commenting on the study, Ohnoutek said, it is wonderful to experience the scientific approach at work, specifically when it results in a "scientific discovery."
Related information about nanoparticles is shown on Nanotechnology, Danish Technological Institute's YouTube video below:
Check out more news and information on Nanotechnology in Science Times.