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Anti-Laser Is A Coherent Perfect Absorber

A coherent perfect absorber has been created by Yale University researchers. The device is an anti-laser because it can absorb laser light completely.

Any dark material can absorb light — a car’s black interior on a summer day, for instance — but to absorb near 100 percent of the light of a laser beam requires a bit more precision. The difference in the anti-laser is that instead of using an amplifying material, it uses one that absorbs it — or a “loss medium.” After his research team did the math, Stone said, they decided that silicon was the best choice.

The anti-laser is set up to split a single laser beam into two and direct the two beams to head toward each other, meeting at the paper-thin silicon wafer. The light’s waves are precisely tuned to interlock with each other and become trapped. They then dissipate into heat.

Perhaps the most novel part of the device is that it allows the operator to tune the light’s wavelengths and determine how much of the laser light is absorbed. That allows the device to work as an on-off switch for light.

Physicist A. Douglas Stone led a team of applied physicists headed by Hui Cao and Wenjie Wan to create the device.

Didn't the Borg have the ability to absorb laser light at specific frequencies? Once they learned to counter a particular weapon, that weapon was never effective again. Via LA Times. Thanks to Jeff Schwenneker for the tip on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/17/2011)

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