Weyl semimetals are a recently discovered class of materials in which charge carriers behave the way electrons and positrons do in particle accelerators. Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and Ioffe Institute in St. Petersburg have shown that these materials represent perfect gain media for lasers. The research findings were published in Physical Review B.
21st-century physics is marked by the search for phenomena from the world of fundamental particles in tabletop materials. In some crystals, electrons move as high-energy particles in accelerators. In others, particles even have properties somewhat similar to black hole matter.
MIPT physicists have turned this search inside-out, proving that reactions forbidden for elementary particles can also be forbidden in the crystalline materials known as Weyl semimetals. Specifically, this applies to the forbidden reaction of mutual particle-antiparticle annihilation without light emission. This property suggests that a Weyl semimetal could be the perfect gain medium for lasers.
A. N. Afanasiev et al. Relativistic suppression of Auger recombination in Weyl semimetals, Physical Review B (2019). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.99.115202