Killjoy physicists have long pointed out the sheer unlikelihood of building a working light saber. But now, they’ve taken a small step toward realizing the dream of Star Wars fans worldwide, by figuring out how to get photons to stick together like molecules in a super-chilled gas.
Normally, light zips through a vacuum at a blazing 186,282 miles per second. But as a new experiment by Scottish physicists has shown, this isn't always necessarily the case.
Normally, photons want nothing to do with one another. Light waves just pass through each other like ghosts. But now, for the first time ever, scientists at the University of Vienna have coaxed a strong interaction between two single photons. It's an achievement that opens up radical new possibilities for a number of…
Scientists have worked out an easy way of turning light into matter, a process thought to be impossible when first proposed 80 years ago. The proposed experiment would recreate events that occurred in the first 100 seconds of the Big Bang.
Back in 1934, a team of physicists came up with an idea for how one might create matter from light. Put simply, just slam two photons into each other to get an electron and a positron, a.k.a. matter. And now, some 80 years later, a team of physicists have a plan to carry out the experiment in real life.
Researchers from MIT have developed a camera that can take pictures in almost total darkness. It works by mathematically reconstructing 3D images from single photons reflected from dimly lit objects. The achievement could result in stealthy spy cameras, or treat eyes that are easily damaged by excess light.
Ever since the late 17th century, it's been understood that to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. That's Newton's Third Law of Motion. But a group of German scientists recently came up with a trick that appears to break that law, one that lets light accelerate all by itself. And it could bring us…
Everyone knows that quantum physics is weird—but it just got weirder. Because a team of scientists from the University of Jerusalem have used quantum entanglement to allow two photons that never existed at the same time to communicate with each other.
First you're taught that light is wave. Then you get a little older and your teacher explains that it's actually particles called photons. Wait, which is it then? Particles? Waves? Both? Neither? This video should help explain.
Scientists have developed a technique to change the color and shape of photons. This could be a boon for quantum computing.
A recent experiment stomps on the dreams of many theoretical physicists, hopeful children, and Star Trek IV fans. After a series of tests that suggested we might discover a theoretical form of time travel, scientists hit a brick wall. Or they had hit a brick wall. Or perhaps they will. Tough to get time travel grammar…
It seems like a simple enough question - why are some materials transparent while others are opaque? But, as this video from the University of Nottingham's Sixty Symbols project explains, a lot of the most common explanations you get are fundamentally wrong. Watch a professional scientist recoil in horror at the…
Every day, the world finds another way to show us that, once we work on a level that's small enough, nothing makes sense. Things we take for granted no longer happen. For instance, say you're lying in bed in the early morning sunlight - or, no judgment, the late afternoon sunlight. If all that daytime starts bothering…
On earth, we're slowed down by the muck of the everyday world. Matter slows us down, rubbing against us and taking away our speed and power. Gravel, air, even slip-n-slides, exert some friction on us. This frictional force runs counter to our motion, and it can't be escaped anywhere on earth. Eventually, inevitably,…
Scientists from the Rochester Institute of Technology have recently demonstrated that micrometers-long, airplane-wing-shaped rods can be lifted by a beam of laser light. This research has the potential to upgrade solar sail technology and power microscopic machines.
Scientists also use lasers to cool atoms, nearly to absolute zero. Over time, a laser can take almost all the energy out of an atom. And it does this in the most contrary way possible: forcing energy into the atom.
This is the entire view sky as seen from Earth, taken by the Planck observatory during a whole year. In the center, the microwave radiation of our galaxy, the Milky Way. But that's not the important part.
Scientists can now use optical tweezers, optical traps, and optical levitation to conduct delicate experiments. Optical.
I don't understand quantum mechanics. Physicists don't even really understand it. But somehow, information was successfully teleported over a full meter, which means we're that much closer to making Star Trek a dorktastic reality.