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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Weird Wednesday ~ Frozen Light



German researchers have frozen the fastest thing in the universe: light. And they did so for a record-breaking one minute. Light is electromagnetic radiation that moves at 300 million meters per second. Over the course of a one minute span, it can travel about 11 million miles (18 million km), or 20 round trips to the moon. 
For this particular experiment, researcher Georg Heinze and his team converted light coherence into atomic coherences. They did so by using a quantum interference effect that makes an opaque medium — in this case a crystal — transparent over a narrow range of light spectra (a process called electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT)). The researchers shot a laser through this crystal (a source of light), which sent its atoms into a quantum superposition of two states. A second beam then switched off the first laser, and as a consequence, the transparency. Thus, the researchers collapsed the superposition — and trapped the second laser beam insideAnd they proved the accomplishment by storing — and then successfully retrieving — information in the form of a 100-micrometer-long picture with three horizontal stripes on it.

Got That?

2 comments:

the dogs' mother said...

I loves Mad Scientists! bwa-ha-ha!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I understood every word. Oooo, look -- pretty and shiny!