Scientists ‘freeze’ light for an entire minute

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Blind Hemingway, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. Someone break this down for me.

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  2. *squints*

    I think... I think what happened is the laser was shot into a crystal that doesn't allow light to move or move very little. Basically suspends the light like how a piece of amber suspends a mosquito.

    At least I think. Trying to comprehend that scientific language makes my head hurt. >.>
  3. Wouldn't light just.... reflect or refract?

    *waves his school Physics book*
  4. "The researchers shot a laser through this crystal (a source of light), which sent its atoms into a quantum superposition of two states."

    Apparently the crystal was able to break light apart into two different states, and I guess doing that suspends the light molecules for a time.
  5. I saw this article on flipboard & was sooo happy!

    [MENTION=10]Asmodeus[/MENTION] it's a process called EIT - electromagnetically induced transparency. simply put, you change the atomic structure of a crystal with a laser so that, in a certain zone of the electromagnetic spectrum (the range of frequencies), you can make the crystal transparent. They used that small range of transparency to pass a laser through it. The laser turns the crystal back to opaque. (cancelling out the first laser)

    The cancelling out of the first laser gives you a pocket of time where the light is trapped within the crystal.

    The best part about it is that they used magnetic fields to store images! According to the article, "the perfect combination of magnet and laser" for the one-minute of trapped light & storage. The image was only stripes, but it's still amazing. It's a small, small, smaaaall step towards quantum computing.

    When chips are created, they're very very hot. In order to cool the most recent, multi-layered processors, we use carbon nanotubes of water (something like that) to pass the water through the inner layers of the chip. But with more and more dense chips, more cooling is needed. And if chips aren't cooled fast enough, parts within the chip begin to melt! Current computer chips go up about 6 billion transistors (a type of semi-conductor used) but are only the size of a nickel!

    Being unable to cool anymore chips means we have to turn to a different kind of technology! And that's where quantum and biotechnology come in! So this kind of research is super relevant and is probably being underwent in a lot of places!

    I went off a tangent, haha! I hope it makes sense!
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  6. Now I understand everything!

    Thanks, G.I. Sakura.
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