Physicists moves light

The Researchers at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has found a way to move light.They not only moved light but also bring a pulse of light, the fastest of nature’s particles, to a complete halt.

Why this is important ?

Light is considered to be the fastest particle in the universe and the application of light in the field of communication and processing is so huge, by gaining the ability to control light, the research shows immense potential in the shaping of future technologies.

That ability to catch, store, move and release light could be used in future computers to process information encoded in the light pulses.

When did this research started ?

In 1999, Lene Vestergaard Hau, a Physics professor at Harvard headed a team of scientists that slowed light, which travels a brisk 186,282 miles a second when unimpeded, to a leisurely 38 miles an hour.

OK.What is the current buzz ?

In 2001 a research was conducted for bringing light to a complete halt by slowly turning off the laser. The Bose-Einstein cloud turned opaque, trapping the light pulse inside. When the laser was turned back on, the trapped light pulse flew out.

The latest results add an additional twist: transporting the pulse to a second Bose-Einstein cloud and regenerating the light there.

What are its applications ?

  • Transforming a light signal into a clump of atoms could be a way of storing information.
  • It could also enable a way of performing calculations in future optical computers.
  • Applications in quantum cryptography.

Currently, optical signals need to be changed into electronic ones for processing and then changed back into light. All optical devices could save on costs and power use.

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