Could ‘solid’ light compute previously unsolvable problems?

solid light

Princeton University researchers have begun crystallizing light as part of an effort to answer fundamental questions about the physics of matter. The researchers are not shining light through crystal – they are transforming light intocrystal.

 

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Light completely stopped for 1 minute inside a crystal

This breakthrough could lead to the creation of long-range quantum networks.

University of Darmstadt scientists in Germany have stopped light for one minute. Light is usually the fastest thing in the known universe and travels at 300 million meters per second, but was stopped dead still inside a crystal for one full minute. This effectively creates light memory, where the image being carried by the light is stored in crystals. Beyond being utterly cool, this breakthrough could lead to the creation of long-range quantum networks — and perhaps, tantalizingly, this research might also give us some clues on accelerating light beyond the universal speed limit.

 

 

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Cheaper And More Reliable Lithium-Ion Batteries

Cheaper And More Reliable Lithium-Ion Batteries

Lithium-ion cells that use polymer electrolytes can be affordably packaged in compact, flexible pouches  

A new incarnation of lithium-ion batteries based on solid polymers is in the works. Berkeley, CA-based startup Seeo, Inc. says its lithium-ion cells will be safer, longer-lasting, lighter, and cheaper than current batteries. Seeo’s batteries use thin films of polymer as the electrolyte and high-energy-density, light-weight electrodes. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is now making and testing cells designed by the University of California, Berkeley spinoff.

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New Laser Probe Developed For Space Program Could Spot Cataracts Earlier

New Laser Probe Developed For Space Program Could Spot Cataracts Earlier 

 A beam of light from a slit-lamp microscope focused on a cataract.

Cataracts are the single biggest cause of blindness and are responsible for almost half of all cases worldwide. A new laser probe, originally developed for the U.S. space program, has been shown to detect the condition earlier than is otherwise possible. Its developers say that the technique can tell that a cataract is forming even when an eye looks perfectly clear.

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Crystal Biosensors To Contribute To Drug Development

Crystal Biosensors To Contribute To Drug Development 

Scientists from the University of Illinois have developed photonic crystal biosensors that would contribute a great deal to drug development, by detecting DNA-protein interactions. The physical setup of the biosensors include a low RI (refractive index) polymer grating that has an outer film coating of high RI Titanium Oxide. Above the film sits a standard microplate with 384 wells. Essentially, each well will have a biosensor at its base and will act like a test tube where DNA-protein reactions are studied.

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Scientists Create ‘Diamonds’ from Tequila

 Scientists Create ‘Diamonds’ from Tequila

If you drink enough tequila, this is what you’ll turn into

Researchers have discovered a new way to make a type of synthetic diamond – from tequila.

Researchers at the University of Nueva Leon near Monterrey in Mexico found that when the Mexican spirit is heated under pressure, it produces diamond structures, which are able to conduct electricity. The crystals, used to make diamond film, have previously been made from a number of different chemicals, often including nitrogen.

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