Scientists freeze beam of light

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by iGav, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. iGav macrumors G3

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    #1
    very, very impressive!

    rinky dink link...

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3308109.stm


    or full article below.

     
  2. hobbes3113 macrumors regular

    hobbes3113

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    #2
    Impressive, very impressive! What's next, cold fusion??? Wait, hasn't that already been done...;)
     
  3. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #3
    So in order to get a random number can I shake my computer really hard like a snowglobe? That'd be fun... :)
     
  4. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    #4
    interesting experiment, but i do wish media would be a little less sensationalizing. light didn't "stop" in the ordinary sense of that word. but public will perceive as if light is something that can be stopped if they only looked at the headline...
     
  5. tpjunkie macrumors 65816

    tpjunkie

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    #5
    the article doesn't mention it, but i would think that the rubidium must have been supercooled to form a bose-einstein condensate
     
  6. hobbes3113 macrumors regular

    hobbes3113

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    #6
    Asking the media to stop sensationalistic reporting is kind of like asking an elephant to jump through a hoop, it just isn't going to happen. My favorite: "What you are eating for dinner tonight might kill you, tune in at 11:00"
     
  7. GeeYouEye macrumors 68000

    GeeYouEye

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    #7
    One would think so, but I believe it was done in rubidium plasma.
     
  8. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #8
    Yeah I think so:
    "hot gas" screams plasma to me. Unless, that is, rubidium needs to be cooled to be a gas?
     
  9. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    #9
    i know... but it's so rare that a physical science story (not biological/medical science) grabs a headline! i wish they'd do a little better job...

    (of course, you can say they wouldn't grab the headline at all unless they could be spiced up a bit...)
     
  10. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    #10
    Sure, if you didn't mind having that huge cold fusion generator being able to power little more than a few lights.
     
  11. tpjunkie macrumors 65816

    tpjunkie

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    #11
    yeah, i saw the "hot gas" part but it just doesn't seem like a plasma would be stable enoughto cause this kind of effect without a massive loss of energy, which they said did not occur
     
  12. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #12
    But if the rubidium was cold, wouldn't the light heat it and lose thermal energy?
     
  13. Wardofsky macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Well, if it can stop the light from coming into my room in the morning, waking me up, I'm all for it.
    So... we can make quantum computers by stopping light... that sounds kinda cool.
     
  14. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

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    #14
    I love that they used the term 'froze' the light, when they trapped in it 'hot gas'.

    I don't think 'froze' is the best word here. Trapped maybe? Not froze though.
     
  15. tpjunkie macrumors 65816

    tpjunkie

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    #15
    yeah, the light was trapped, not frozen. And if the rubidium had been super-cooled, only light of the specific frequencies that rubidium can absorb would have any effect on the temperature of the gas. in fact, lasers are what is used to supercool gases to within 1 millionth of a degree of absolute zero.
     
  16. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    #16
    Heck, you could even clarify further by saying it wasn't trapped, but redirected enough times for it to "appear" trapped for a short period of time.
     
  17. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

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    #17
    So basically, if I built a hollow sphere that was all mirrored on the inside with a pin hole on either ends, and stuck a lil fiber optic in on side so that the light from the fiber optic bounced around a bunch before finally getting through that little hole on the other end, I'd be pretty much doing the same thing?
     
  18. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

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    #18
    "Scientists employ rubidium plasma to leave imprint of photon signal pulse on atoms"

    Very catchy...What's more deplorable is that researchers have to "spice up" papers for journals like Nature, as well, and not just the general media.

    I must say, though, that I only extremely vaguely kind of see what's going on with this procedure. It sounds fascinating, though. Maybe the actual paper would explain it a little bit better. If someone wants to clarify what the article is trying to say, though, that would be spiffy.
     
  19. Freakk123 macrumors regular

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    #19
    Very cool. I'd love to see where this leads to. The future of computing? Time Travel? THE END OF THE WORLD? WHO KNOWS? :) :p :D
     

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