Cool, But What's It Mean For Space Travel?: Scientists Succesfully Freeze Light For A Minute

July 26, 2013

frozen-light.jpg

Picture related: frozen light. Zing! NOW COME TEAR MY HEART OUT NO MERCY STYLE.

German researchers have successfully "frozen" light for an entire minute, which apparently means great things for the future of "light-based quantum memory" and other things my brain refuses to be wrapped round. No lie, I'm so dumb I failed chemistry for refusing to dissect any animals. "Don't you mean biology?" God, I wish I did. Prepare for smarty talk!

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 inside.

They trapped a laser beam! I still can't believe people are smart enough to come up with stuff like this. Like, I don't understand ANYTHING, and there are people out there trapping laser beams in crystals. *shaking fist at God* Where was I the day you were handing out brains?! *booming voice* "At the front of the penis line." Haha, you're damn right I was.

Thanks to Marconus and Pyrblaze, who can stop light anytime they want just by flipping a wall switch. Heck yeah, let's drink in the dark!

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