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Science & Technology

Researchers develop 'freeze ray' lasers

By T.K. Randall
November 22, 2015 · Comment icon 9 comments

Lasers can be used to cool things down as well as to heat things up. Image Credit: CC 2.0 Andrew Adams
A breakthrough in the field of laser cooling could open the door to a wide range of new applications.
Ever since it was first developed back in the 1960s, the humble laser has been most typically associated with heating things up rather than with cooling things down.

Now however researchers at the University of Washington have revealed that they may have actually found a way to do both - something that had previously eluded scientists for decades.
While there is still a long way to go before the technology is likely to become widely available, the researchers maintain that cooling lasers could soon find their way in to many different applications.

The ability to 'point cool' small areas for instance has the potential to be highly beneficial, especially in the field of medical research where it could be used to cool and slow down individual cells or to 'silence' a single neuron within a network without causing damage.

The technology could also be used to cool down individual components inside a computer chip.

Source: The Times Gazette | Comments (9)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by geraldnewfie 8 years ago
Great breakthrough but of course this will be weaponized by the US Military instead of being used for anything usefull
Comment icon #2 Posted by davros of skaro 8 years ago
Mr. Freeze nominates Batman to do the Ice Bucket challenge.
Comment icon #3 Posted by bubblykiss 8 years ago
Why can't these scientists work on a way to make fluffy kittens even more soft and fluffy?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Chibadiba 8 years ago
I wonder how much power it takes to keep it on continuously.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Lucas Cooper Merrin 8 years ago
Enough science malarkey! Can it chill a can of grizzly
Comment icon #6 Posted by Infernal Gnu 8 years ago
This is THE ANSWER to global warming! Get hundreds of freezing laser satellites in orbit around the earth and fire away!
Comment icon #7 Posted by pallidin 8 years ago
Seems like one hell of a complicated process, from what I read. It's not like you shoot laser beams at something and it freezes.
Comment icon #8 Posted by BeastieRunner 8 years ago
Seems like one hell of a complicated process, from what I read. It's not like you shoot laser beams at something and it freezes. Appears to draw a lot of power, too.
Comment icon #9 Posted by lightly 8 years ago
yup, it's a neat trick, but takes too much energy to be useful in a common sort of way? Same with the new virtually instantaneous SUPER heating lasers?

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