Light travels at 186,000 miles (300 million meters) per second in a vacuum but physicists in the United States and Russia are just a little bit faster, actually capturing the light photons and stopping them in their tracks. The newly-developed technique offers opportunities to improve optical communication, manage quantum data, a boon to the future of both communication and digital security.
Reported in this week’s edition of Nature, Harvard University’s Mikhail Lukin and colleagues at the Lebedev Institute in Moscow have been able to capture and store individual photons of light using signal laser pulses. The photons are then illuminated by two opposing control beams, creating a mirror effect which stops the light dead in its tracks.
The ability to control the transition of light photons is a major step toward the development of quantum computers. I suggest following this technology closely.
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