New ways to direct high-frequency gamma radiation

Controlling gamma radiation.


Scientists from the Kazan Federal University, Texas A&M University, and Institute of Applied Physics (Russian Academy of Sciences) have demonstrated new ways to direct high-frequency gamma radiation using acoustics.

They have come up with an optical switch that lets through or stops gamma quanta by switching the acoustic field.

Scientists acoustically incited transparency of a resonant medium for gamma radiation in an experiment. The essence of this phenomenon lies in the transformation of the spectrum of the absorption line into a comb structure comprising of satellite lines dispersed from the mainline by the frequency of the acoustic field. For the examination, gamma quanta with an energy of 14.4 keV were used, which are produced during the decay of the excited condition of the iron-57 core.

Mossbauer Spectroscopy Lab Head Farit Vagizov said“By acting on the absorber containing the Fe-57 nuclei with the help of a piezoelectric transducer, it was possible to achieve for the optically dense absorber to become transparent to resonant gamma rays. The absorber was attached to a piezoelectric transducer, which vibrated at a certain frequency and amplitude. At an oscillation amplitude corresponding to a modulation index of 2.4, the absorption of photons with an energy of 14.4 keV was suppressed 148 times.”

“This effect is analogous to the effect of electromagnetically induced transparency in optics when radiation in one frequency range is used to control electronic transitions of atoms in another frequency range. As you know, the effect of electromagnetically induced transparency in atomic media has a fairly wide area of potential applications: the creation of controlled delay lines, devices for recording and reproducing quantum information, frequency standards in atomic clocks, and much more.”

This impact demonstrated that with the assistance of low-frequency (~10-40 MHz) acoustic excitation, it is conceivable to control the process of transmission of high-frequency electromagnetic radiation with a frequency of more than 1013 MHz through the resonant medium. This impact may end up being valuable for controlling the generated emission on modern synchrotron sources and X-ray lasers, also for making promising quantum devices.

Journal Reference:
  1. Y. V. Radeonychev et al., Observation of Acoustically Induced Transparency for γ -Ray Photons, Physical Review Letters (2020). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.124.163602
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