Sat, 18 Sep 2021 Today's Paper

Science trumps the Force to create a real-life lightsaber

27 September 2013 05:08 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A A A

In journalism, there's something called a lede, which is just another word for the main or most important part of your story. Normally you want to lay it out for the reader in the first sentence or two. Obviously, I'm hesitating here.

That's because I can't decide if it's more important that researchers at MIT and Harvard have just managed to create a previously unobserved form of matter by getting photons to bind together into molecules, or the fact that the result is basically a real-life lightsaber -- that could be part of a quantum computer one day.

Actually, I think what this story is really about is...friendship.

See, photons -- which are the elementary particles of light -- tend to be massless and kind of aloof. If you shoot two laser beams at each other, the photons just pass right through each other without so much as a hello or a high five.

But when the researchers fired a few photons into a vacuum chamber with a cloud of extremely cold rubidium atoms to take advantage of an effect called a Rydberg blockade, the photons started hanging out and even left the chamber together as the first "photonic molecule" -- a sort of quantum bromance -- ever observed.

And it's that bond between new particle bros that creates the new form of matter, which bears a resemblance to that most awesome weapon from a galaxy far, far away.

"It's not an in-apt analogy to compare this to lightsabers," said Harvard Professor of Physics Mikhail Lukin in a news release. "When these photons interact with each other, they're pushing against and deflect each other. The physics of what's happening in these molecules is similar to what we see in the movies."

Proof that friendship is possible at the particle level.

The team made no mention of the potential for weaponizing the new molecules to take on any Sith lords, but I suppose DARPA or any number of Jedi masters who follow Crave could come calling at any moment.

Photonic molecules would be more likely to advance quantum computing, according to Lukin: "Photons remain the best possible means to carry quantum information. The handicap, though, has been that photons don't interact with each other."

Until now. Turns out you just had to get some photons in the same place and introduce them to each other through some totally chill atoms, and they'll actually hit it off.
Lukin says this new bond between photons could also have practical applications for contemporary chipmakers working to convert light into electric signals.

Most mind-blowing of all, he also suggests the breakthrough could one day lead to technologies that allow for the creation of complex 3D structures, like crystals, made out of light.

Dude, these Cambridge smarties didn't just make "Star Wars" real, they've brought "TRON" to life at the same time! All because of the power of friendship ... and science!

(Source : news.cnet.com)
See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

  Comments - 0

See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 


Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment




See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 


Mysterious disease killing pups!

A mysterious respiratory disease affecting puppies in the Central Province is

Jacqueline Fernandez; Lankan Star Shining in Indian Film Sky

Sri Lanka’s Jacqueline Fernandez who has made a name for herself in India

Young families share stories of pregnancy in a pandemic

For hundreds of expectant and new mothers, pregnancy and childbirth are nothi

“Your travel plans should not come first” – Dr. Dinu Guruge

In a recent live discussion on fighting the Covid-19 pandemic hosted by Daily