A team at Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light have managed to make two beams of light "touch" each other. Not only is this a breakthrough for physics, but it's a dream come true for many Star Wars fans out there...
We've all pretended to be a Jedi Knight at some point in our lives, waging war against the dark side. But this has always been a distant dream, because the physics of a laser sword combat have been scientifically impossible. Light has always required a large chunk of material as an intermediary to make contact. But with just a few photons and one organic particle, researchers have been able to mediate the light-light interaction between two beams.
So how was this done? The team ran by Vahid Sandoghdar, Director of the Nano-optics Division at the Institute, first cooled the molecules to minus 272 degrees Celsius and made two carefully focussed laser beams.
The test for this molecule to enable interaction between the two beams was for one (the control beam) to change its optical properties and become transparent as the second one (the probe beam) came into contact with it. At this temperature, the test was successful, showing the probe beam switching the molecule to transparent.
While that is all fair and good, there really is something here that could unlock the future of the computer industry. Semiconductor components like the transistor are constantly being miniaturised and sped up – but this can’t happen forever. We will eventually hit the metaphorical wall where it will be physically impossible to miniaturise further.
This is where the idea of a light transistor comes in. Processing information with photons instead of electrons would open the opportunity for more compact and powerful computers. But this is a long ways down the line, as we’re only controlling a few photons at the moment.
As for the future of this research, the team will continue to work towards controlling a light signal with individual photons, minimising the experiment to its absolute smallest form. They also want to embed the molecule onto a nano-optical transistor, to see if it can be wired up as part of electrical circuitry – which would be a brave first step towards processing information in a photonic computer that reads data entirely through light particles.
There was a time when Blackberry was relevant. Today, unfortunately, is not one of those times as CEO John Chen announced plans for the company to stop making their own phones.
The representation of politicians has always been a tricky issue, but recently we’ve seen social media become more and more important as an influence on public opinion, especially relating to the US presidential campaign and the Labour leadership row here in the UK.
Snapchat just dropped some huge news - rebranding to Snap Inc. and revealing their first piece of hardware named Spectacles. I'm struggling to understand the point of some sunglasses with a video camera attached to them, but surely it can't be just because I'm not a millennial...
For years, developed countries have accepted and almost forgotten about the privilege of Internet access – while 4 billion people across developing nations live without it.
Well, here we are... The fifth anniversary of New Rising Media. It's been a journey quite like that of a TV sitcom relationship - falling in and out of love with this place.
There have been highs and lows, as the landscape of blogging has changed. And just like any birthday celebration, I want to reminisce in the history of things around here.
Unless you've been living under a rock, Apple launched their AirPods... Turns out there's a lot wrong with them!
While a robot may never be capable of feeling emotion, artist Erica Scourti’s bot “Empathy Deck” has the potential to pretend well enough to offer comforting help.
Ignore what the more easily influenced friends are sharing on Facebook - NASA did not just change your Zodiac sign. This was all just big misunderstanding, based on a children’s education web page put out by the agency.
We all have a laugh and a joke about being so addicted to Pokemon Go that you play while driving - but unfortunately that’s not a joke to thousands of people…
YouTube Gaming channels are rapidly becoming a major part of online entertainment. Whether it be Let’s Players, Review and Analysis, News Channels, or any number of variations, more and more people are making their living either playing or discussing games – and attracting legions of fans while they do so. However, one thing this rapidly-growing medium has so far lacked is a concrete set of laws and legislation behind it, and that might be set to change, thanks to an incident in Essex.