Thursday, November 18, 2010

Freezing Light

Einstein said that the special theory of relativity shows "that mass and energy are different manifestations of the same thing.” Accordingly, researchers have frozen and unfrozen light in an entirely different place.

Researchers sent a light pulse into a sodium cloud of -460 degrees (theoretical point were matter stops). While frozen, the light actually changed state - like frozen water. It also split into two forms of matter. One was frozen while the other moved at 200 meters/hour. The second form - a matter wave - contains the exact information of the original light wave which was converted back into light.

Since fiber-optic communications use light, it means we may one day stop, store and turn messages back on, just like a light switch.

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