Physicists have observed a new form of light, and it could totally change the way we understand the electromagnetic spectrum.
Light is one of the most well-studied things in physics, but it’s clear that it still holds some surprises.
One of the measurable properties of light is called angular momentum, which measures how quickly a beam of light rotates.
Previously, physicists thought the angular momentum could only be a multiple of a number called Planck’s constant.
Now, researchers have observed a new form of light with an angular momentum of just half Planck’s constant.
An unexpected angular momentum value might not sound like a big deal, but the implications are pretty huge.
“What I think is so exciting about this result is that even this fundamental property of light, that physicists have always thought was fixed, can be changed,” physicist Paul Eastham said in a statement.
The research is published in the journal Science Advances.
Getty Images/Mark Davis
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