Saturday, July 27, 2013

Light Stopped For Minute In Record-Breaking Study

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Light Stopped For Minute In Record-Breaking Study

By Sara Gates
The Huffington Post

    Albert Einstein postulated that nothing is faster than the speed of light. But what if light was stopped dead in its tracks for, say, a minute? Impossible, right? Think again.

Researchers at the University of Darmstadt in Germany achieved an incredible feat when they stopped light for an entire minute inside a crystal.

In a paper about their research, published this month in the journal Physical Review Letters, the scientists explain how they stopped the light using a technique called electromagnetically induced transparency.

The researchers beamed a laser at an opaque crystal, triggering a quantum reaction that turned the crystal transparent. Then they directed a secondary light source at the crystal before cutting power to the laser to render the crystal opaque again.

What happened? The light from the secondary source remained trapped inside the crystal. Through multiple trials, the team was then able to extend the period of time in which the light remained halted within the crystal for up to a minute. . . .

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