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February 15, 2016

The Alchemy of Vacuum or . . . When Is a Vacuum not a Vacuum?

We think of a vacuum as containing absolutely nothing, like the void of outer space. However, most empty space contains energy in the form of electromagnetic waves. Strong coupling of this light radiation and matter can give rise to a multitude of exciting physical effects through the formation of hybrid light-matter states. When molecular materials with high transition dipole moments are placed in the confined fields of metallic microcavities or surface plasmons, many exciting consequences can be observed.

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