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Science & Technology

Scientists invent the 'anti-laser'

By T.K. Randall
February 18, 2011 · Comment icon 23 comments



Image Credit: sxc.hu
Scientists have developed a device that can absorb the light from a laser rather than emitting it.
The invention is thought to have considerable potential for use in future computers that use optics to transmit data between processors, the anti-laser could be used to convert light signals in to an electrical form.
A laser shines by producing a cascade of photons that bounce around inside a light-amplifying material before exiting from one or both ends. In 2010, Douglas Stone at Yale University and colleagues devised a way to reverse the process, with a material that absorbs rather than amplifies light.


Source: New Scientist | Comments (23)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #14 Posted by third_eye 12 years ago
that should also mean faster computers and even wider broadband for the internet yay!
Comment icon #15 Posted by fandango 12 years ago
This should come in handy for when "they" invade with their laser guns
Comment icon #16 Posted by mgessel 12 years ago
cloaking devices would have to bend light to work or like the Japanese (I think it was the Japanese)came up with a stealth suit that uses cameras to project the image of what is on the other side of you to make you invisible (well somewhat) you could still see the outlines tho will post a link if i can find it
Comment icon #17 Posted by mgessel 12 years ago
here is one link that i found http://science.howstuffworks.com/invisibility-cloak.htm
Comment icon #18 Posted by ShadowSot 12 years ago
As I understand it, from the actual article in Science, they have done basically what the article says: reversed the laser. So... The silicon captures the photo and absorbs the energy, releasing it as heat, right?
Comment icon #19 Posted by Oen Anderson 12 years ago
It seems to me this could be used as a shield against a laser being shot at you or your missile. The only question I have is how much heat can it absorb before it blows up? And as a cloaking device you might not be able to see what is behind the shield because it is absorbing light, but the heat it produces would show up on thermal imaging. Very interesting though.
Comment icon #20 Posted by sepulchrave 12 years ago
So... The silicon captures the photo and absorbs the energy, releasing it as heat, right? At the moment, yes. Since the absorbed photon creates a conventional electronic ``excited state'', it is possible that with a few modifications to the device, the absorbed energy could be efficiently used in some other manner (electrical signal, for example). It seems to me this could be used as a shield against a laser being shot at you or your missile. The only question I have is how much heat can it absorb before it blows up? I don't think this would be a very good shield. A good shield would reflect o... [More]
Comment icon #21 Posted by Xpeople 12 years ago
I wonder if this is the start of a quantum computer.
Comment icon #22 Posted by third_eye 12 years ago
I wonder if this is the start of a quantum computer. OMG ! its the genesis of the matrix
Comment icon #23 Posted by S.Tx.Rocker 12 years ago
very usefull Etremely useful, especially if they would create for use against radar guns.


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