- A new type of microscopic particle cluster was found in the solid state but strangely behaved like a liquid, called Dropleton.
- It is infinitely small, and a quasi-particle, a combination of other, fundamental particles with unusual properties that exist in solids. It is a permanent new element to the periodic table.
- Each dropleton or “quantum droplet” is said to comprise of about 5 electrons & 5 quantum “holes” — spaces in solid matter where an electron once was.
- It is stimulated by light & this combination of smaller particles condenses briefly into a “droplet” with characteristics of liquid water, along with ripples. The dropleton exists for a mere 25 picoseconds (trillionths of a second).
- It was discovered when researchers bombarded a semiconductor made of gallium arsenide with lasers at a rate of 100 million pulses per second in search of new quasiparticles.
- This discovery enables us to understand more about how photons, or particles of light, react with matter. It’s high sensitivity to light could be made use of in light-detecting electronic devices.