View Full Version : Seeing Light in a New Light: Scientists Create Never-Before-Seen Form of Matter

September 26th, 2013, 08:03 PM
"Harvard and MIT scientists are challenging the conventional wisdom about light, and they didn't need to go to a galaxy far, far away to do it.

Working with colleagues at the Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms, a group led by Harvard Professor of Physics Mikhail Lukin and MIT Professor of Physics Vladan Vuletic have managed to coax photons into binding together to form molecules -- a state of matter that, until recently, had been purely theoretical. The work is described in a September 25 paper in Nature.

The discovery, Lukin said, runs contrary to decades of accepted wisdom about the nature of light. Photons have long been described as massless particles which don't interact with each other -- shine two laser beams at each other, he said, and they simply pass through one another.

'Photonic molecules,' however, behave less like traditional lasers and more like something you might find in science fiction -- the light saber.

'Most of the properties of light we know about originate from the fact that photons are massless, and that they do not interact with each other,' Lukin said. "What we have done is create a special type of medium in which photons interact with each other so strongly that they begin to act as though they have mass, and they bind together to form molecules. This type of photonic bound state has been discussed theoretically for quite a while, but until now it hadn't been observed.' ..."

Source: Sciencedaily.com (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130925132323.htm)

And suddenly my fantasy about have tech made of photonic (light) materials has been revived.

September 26th, 2013, 09:39 PM
Lukin I am your father. :P

September 26th, 2013, 10:34 PM
"I find your lack of faith in photonic molecules disturbing . . ."

September 27th, 2013, 11:14 AM
"I see you have constructed a photonic molocule. Your skills are complete."

September 28th, 2013, 10:47 PM
Lukin I am your father. :P


"An effect called a Rydberg blockade, Lukin said, which states that when an atom is excited, nearby atoms cannot be excited to the same degree. "

- they just stand around saying 'Meh'

September 29th, 2013, 12:42 AM
That is the power of The Force. It connects you to me to the rock to the tree.