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Observation of Half-Quantum Vortices in an Exciton-Polariton Condensate

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Science  13 Nov 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5955, pp. 974-976
DOI: 10.1126/science.1177980

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Quantum Division

The notion of quantum mechanics is that variables are expressed as integer values. In quantum fluids, for instance, vortices are quantized in terms of the polarization and phase shifts observed as multiples of 2π, that is, full rotations of each variable around the vortex core. Theoretical work has predicted that in some instances there should be half-quantum vortices, where circumventing the vortex core is characterized by just π rotations of the phase and polarization. By observing exciton-polariton condensates Lagoudakis et al. (p. 974) present evidence for the existence of these long-predicted half-quantum vortices.

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