Slowing Down Light

Posted on January 23, 2007  Comments (0)

Putting the Brakes on Light Speed:

The achievement is the latest in the fast-paced field of “slow light” — a discipline that barely existed a decade ago. While other researchers have dragged light to slower speeds than the Rochester scientists, who got it down to one-three-hundredth of its normal velocity, the new method is far simpler. That means the dream of domesticating one of nature’s most feral forces for use in computing, image processing and a host of military and homeland security applications could be nigh.

“This is a big step toward bringing slow-light technology into practical usage,” said Steve Harris, a professor of electrical engineering and applied physics at Stanford University. As the fleetest form of energy in the universe, light has the potential to revolutionize a wide range of technologies. Pulses of light can substitute for the digital “ones” and “zeros” that are today conveyed by relatively massive electrons on silicon chips.

Related: Delaying the Flow of Light on a Silicon Chip

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