Star Wars is no longer science fiction. Harvard and MIT professors have discovered a new process to bind light together to create a new state of matter, which looks an awful lot like a Light Saber.
By pumping photons through a supercooled vacuum chamber filled with rubidium, scientists were able to create what is called the Rydberg blockade, in which a passing atom is not excited to the identical level of the initial atom. This creates a push-pull force between them all, forming a binding effect between the photons.
"It's not an in-apt analogy to compare this to light sabers," Harvard physicist Mikhail Lukin told Phys.org. "When these photons interact with each other, they're pushing against and deflecting each other. The physics of what's happening in these molecules is similar to what we see in the movies."
Don't get too excited/terrified, this discovery won't be used for combat purposes immediately, rather in quantum computing. Physicists have always been limited by the lack of binding light, but now they could build more intricate chains of interaction, leading to a revolution in conventional computer circuitry.
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