An efficient magnetic field can exist for light particles

Light coming from window (Source: Points:

Scientists have opened a new window in science by finding that an effective magnetic field can exist for light.

Published in:

Nature Photonics

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Magnetic field refers to the line of forces that are present around the permanent magnet or a moving charged particle. This field can change the path of charged particles such as electrons. Usually, magnetic field has no effect on neutral particles such as photons, which are present in light. However, the present study is not only interesting but also amazing as it shows that light particles (photons) can have efficient magnetic fields that can change their paths.

In the experiment, scientists from Cornell University along with scientists from University of Sao Paulo and Stanford University worked on an on-chip silicon-based Ramsey-type interferometer to investigate the phase of different states of light. This interferometer is conventionally used to explore the phase of atomic states. Scientists have found an efficient magnetic flux for photons. They found that the device not only affects the distance but also the path of light.

For further research, scientists are considering the control of light with the help of optics and not wires on circuits in a nonconventional way.


Tzuang, L., Fang, K., Nussenzveig, P., Fan, S., & Lipson, M. (2014). Non-reciprocal phase shift induced by an effective magnetic flux for light Nature Photonics, 8 (9), 701-705 DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2014.177

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