Scientists uncover a minute to rest




German researchers have shown by means of a laser crystal, and a light beam a minute may bring to a halt. Long The technique should be used in the future in order to store data in quantum computers and read out again.

The study by scientists at the University of Darmstadt published in Physical Review Letters, as noted in New Scientist. To bring light to a standstill, the temperature in the experimental environment lowered to about -268 degrees, not far above absolute zero. Then with a laser on a crystal seemed that normally no light: that brought the atoms in the crystal in a quantum mechanical superposition which they were receptive to light in a certain range of frequencies. This allowed a second beam, consisting of these frequencies, the crystal penetration. Next, the laser turned off, making it crystal display was completely opaque and light so confined.

With this technique managed to keep it light. German scientists for one minute in place This represents a significant improvement from the previous record, which stood at 16 seconds. Had normally light in vacuum in that one minute gone a distance of nearly 18 million kilometers. Such experiments should be useful for quantum computers eventually: the individual components of light, photons, can be used in a quantum system to store information or to read right information. By slightly longer “freeze” this process can be better controlled and quantum information can be sent larger distances.

According to the scientists, the technique is suitable to store complex information and read out again. The information is then processed in the light beam penetrates the crystal: the German researchers showed with their experiment is that it is possible to store an image in the crystal, consisting of three “stripes” with light on.

Scientists think they can bring with certain adjustments. Light even longer to stop The time that the light in the crystal spends will be determined by how long the atoms can be located. In the aforementioned superposition This configuration may be extended with a magnetic field: should be able to retain the opacity longer by taking advantage of the material used in the crystal and the magnetic field, other combinations


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