Keeping the energy in the room

Technology sometimes seems to improve yearly, as if by magic.

But a crew of scientists and engineers is hard at work behind each small advancement and major change.

We have never seen an increase in energy resolution this large," Mazin continued. It provides a brand-new route to scientific objectives that we previously couldn't pursue.

A superconductor, in which electricity can flow devoid of resistance, is used by an MKID. These materials not only have no resistance, but have other beneficial qualities.

For instance, to knock the electron out of a semiconductor, the gap energy must be overcome.

Since a superconductor's related gap energy is 10,000 times lower, it can pick up even weak signals

A single photon can also remove numerous electrons from a superconductor at once, as opposed to just one from a semiconductor.

The energy (or wavelength) of the incoming light can really be calculated by an MKID by counting the number of mobile electrons

And the photon's energy, or its spectrum, reveals a great deal about the physics of what caused it to emit that photon, according to Mazin.