A team of researchers has succeeded in finding a way to stop light in its tracks for a full minute.
Experiments aimed at stopping light, which travels at the fastest known speed of 300 million meters per second, have been in the works for years. In 1999, physicists managed to slow it down to just 17 meters per second and two years later succeeded in halting it completely for a fraction of a second. To stop it for a full minute however is a feat that has, until now, remained impossible.
To achieve it, George Heinze and his team at the University of Darmstadt in Germany fired a laser at an opaque crystal and used a combination of magnetism and optics to slow the light down. Their success could pave the way towards secure quantum communications over long distances.
"To break the minute barrier, George Heinze and colleagues at the University of Darmstadt, Germany, fired a control laser at an opaque crystal, sending its atoms into a quantum superposition of two states."
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Source: New Scientist
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