Light Captured In A Crystal
Light stopped for one second in the crystal shown below. A team of researchers from the Laser Physics Centre at the Australian National University in Canberra succeeded in setting the record for 'stopping' light, increasing the total time by a factor of 1,000.
(Light stopped for one second)
Dr. Matthew Sellars stated that the objective for 'stopping' light is to develop memory for quantum computing. He said:
“Stopping light is not just a neat trick, it is the basis of a quantum memory — a device capable of storing and recalling the quantum states of light."
Here's how its done:
“We use a small silicate crystal doped with a rare-earth element, praseodymium. It is on the praseodymium ions that we store the light pulse.
“When we shine a laser pulse at this crystal, it’s normally absorbed. The light doesn’t get through the crystal. Then we add a second laser beam that turns on the coupling between the nuclear spins and the light. This coupling makes the crystal transparent. So when we now fire the first laser beam at it, it gets through, but the odd thing about it is that it takes a very long time to do so.”
“To store the light in there, we turn the second laser beam off. The signal from the first laser beam is trapped inside the crystal. To get the signal out again, we turn the coupling beam on again. We can now store light for seconds, and potentially quite a bit longer."
(Dr. Matthew Sellars, Laser Physics Centre, in PhysOrg)
The next goal is to stop and store a single photon, creating the first quantum memory.
"And this stopping light, what we're doing is transferring the quantum information which is on the light, or a complete description of the light field.
"We can now store it on the crystal and hold it there for a long time, for seconds and hopefully longer, and then come back basically just flick a switch, and then recall that quantum information and regenerate the light pulse.
"It should be an exact copy of the pulse that we've put in. So rather than using electrons we'll be using photons, we'll be using light pulses to control our computer system."
In 1968, science fiction writer Bob Shaw wrote Light of Other Days, a cool story about trapping light in glass and then slowly releasing it over time. This created a "scenedow" for people without a view:
The most important effect, in the eyes of the average individual, was that light took a long time to pass through a sheet of slow glass. A new piece was always jet black because nothing had yet come through, but one could stand the glass beside, say, a woodland lake until the scene emerged, perhaps a year later. If the glass was then removed and installed in a dismal city flat, the flat would—for that year—appear to overlook the woodland lake.
(Read more about slow glass)
For news about other elements of a quantum computer, read The Latest in Quantum Dot Switches. Read more about this story in Light capture may pave the way for more powerful computers and Stopping light in a quantum leap. Thanks to Vik for the tip on this story.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/17/2005)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 8 )
Related News Stories -
Prufrock The Newest Boring Machine
'It sounds to me as though you had invented a kind of metal earthworm...'
Stratuscent Electronic Nose
'It's picking up diphenyl compounds and tetra hydrocarbons.' - Michael Crichton, 1985.
Smart Contact Lenses Charges With 3D Printed Antenna
'He realized that it was not quite a clear lens.' - Vernor Vinge, 2001.
Physicist Inspired By SciFi And Seeing Back In Time
'Here is the chronoscope... Scansion depends upon a special curved field...'
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
PRAM Solar Powered Satellite Hardware Tested In Orbit
'Our beams feed these worlds energy drawn from... the Sun'
3D Printed Glass Uses Stereolithography Techniques
'All that with glass...'
Science Fiction Helps Young Readers Build Resiliency
'Reading science fiction and fantasy can help readers make sense of the world.'
I Want My 1928 Telestereo Hologram Now
'Instantly there appeared standing upon the disk, the image of a man...'
Memes Now Come From Neural Nets
'Your order said for him to be able to be able to work out twists on the gags in the file...'
Robot Dog Learns To Be Doggy From Real Dogs
'So we took pictures of Guzub making a Three Planets, and I could construct this one to do it exactly right down to the thousandth of a second.'
Unwanted Cruise Ships Huddle Together Out At Sea
'On the screen they passed in an endless, boundaryless flood of green specks...'
Sono Sion Electric Car Charges As You Drive
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'
News Mood Filter Web Extension
'He adjusted the n, the r and b knobs, and hopefully anticipated a turn for the better...'
Fetal Lamb Rests In Artificial Womb
'... stewing warm on their cushion of peritoneum and gorged with blood-surrogate and hormones, the foetuses grew and grew...'
MIT Wants To Catch Interstellar Visitors
'INVESTIGATE MYSTERIOUS OBJECT ENTERING NEW CALEDONIA SYSTEM FROM NORMAL SPACE'
AutoX Sets Up Asia's Largest Robotaxi Center
'The robot cab seemed to know where it was going and, no doubt, the master machine from which it received its signals knew.'
E - Ink's Automatic Self Styling Color-Changing Dress
'The racks of gowns itched and quivered, their colors running into blurred pools.'
Soft Robots Use Kirigami Piezoelectric Sensor Skin
'A worthy opponent was the golem.'
Bosch Smartglasses Laser Paints AR Image On Your Retina
'Soon we'll be testing a system that projects directly on the retina of the eye.'
Maybe We Could Hibernate Until The Covid-19 Pandemic's End
'Cold-rest was a common last resort therapy for functional psychoses.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories