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A simplified schematic shows the basic idea behind a Rice University experiment to detect a Bloch-Siegert shift in strongly coupled light and matter. In this illustration, a light field rotating in the opposite direction to an orbiting electron still interacts with the electron in a cavity, in this case the empty space between two mirrors. The influence of resonance on the counter-rotating element defines the shift. Illustration by Xinwei Li

Quantum shift shows itself in coupled light and matter

Scientists at the Rice University utilized a remarkable mix of methods to see a condensed matter phenomenon about which others have just theorized. The...