Scientists create ’lightsaber’ molecules
2013 09 26

By Michael Thomas | Digital Journal

Don’t expect to begin your Jedi training any time soon, but scientists have created molecules that, in effect, behave like the deadly "Star Wars" weapons.

The findings are significant in that these molecules are a totally new form of matter.

The research occurred at the Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms, led by Mikhail Lukin, a Harvard professor of physics and Vladan Vuletic, an MIT physics professor. The results are described in the journal Nature.

The molecules the team created, formed by the fusion of photons, challenges previous assumptions that photons, particles of light, are without mass. Photon molecules behave not like lasers, but more like lightsabers.

To create them, the researchers pumped rubidium atoms into a vacuum chamber, used lasers to cool them to just above absolute zero, then used weak laser pulses to fire photons into the atom clouds.

The photon then excites other atoms with its energy as it passes through the cloud, slowing the photon down. When the team fired two photons into the cloud, the result was one new photon molecule.

[...]

Read the full article at: digitaljournal.com



Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Norway Joins the Race to Develop Killer Robots
2014 10 24
Norway is a large exporter of weapons, which makes the resolution of the debate about creating killer robots an important issue for everyone.  One could debate the overall merits or failings of robotic systems, but an area that clearly has become a point for concern on all sides is the emergence of "killer robots." According to robotics pioneer, David Hanson, ...
Gene That Once Aided Survival in the Arctic Found to Have Negative Impact on Health Today
2014 10 23
In individuals living in the Arctic, researchers have discovered a gene variant that arose thousands of years ago and most likely provided an evolutionary advantage for processing high-fat diets or for surviving in a cold environment; however, the variant also seems to increase the risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and infant mortality in today’s northern populations. {snip} “Our work ...
The Ebola hoax: questions, answers, and the false belief in the “One It”
2014 10 23
“The Reality Manufacturing Company doesn’t just sell ‘fake paintings’ that are easy to spot. No. They also sell images that are geared to mesh with people’s deeply held instincts and thereby produce rigid false beliefs. People are sure that if they gave up such beliefs, their world would fall apart and blow away in the wind.” ...
New Controversial Theory Suggests "Hobbits" Were Not Human - Who Were These Mysterious Beings?
2014 10 23
The origin of the Hobbit species remains a challenging subject to scientists. The Hobbit’s discovery confirmed the view that the Earth was once populated by many species of human, but new research the Hobbit’s were not human at all! So, who were these mysterious beings? Where did they come from? The idea that our species, Homo sapiens, was the only species of human on ...
Right into enemy hands? ISIS shows off new weapons allegedly airdropped by US (VIDEO)
2014 10 23
Islamic State has published a new video in which a jihadist shows off brand-new American hardware, which was purportedly intended for the Kurds they are fighting in the Syrian border town of Kobani. The undated video, posted by the unofficial IS mouthpiece “a3maq news”, sees a jihadist showing several boxes of munitions with English-language markings, with a parachute spread out on ...
More News »