Light manipulated at room temp
Scientists slow speed, then make it faster
By Fiona Harvey
LONDON, July 11 — A few years ago, Dr Lene Hau surprised the world of science when she managed first to slow light down to a relative crawl, then to stop it in its tracks altogether. Now, another group of scientists has managed to slow light down then cause it to travel faster than its standard speed.
REMARKABLY, THEY have managed to do so at room temperature, where previous experiments required exotic systems at extreme temperatures. This will help the technique to be used in applications in telecommunications, quantum computing, and quantum cryptograph. The U.S. researchers describe in Friday’s edition of Science how they used a room temperature crystal of alexandrite to switch quickly between slowing light to 100 metres per second, and speeding it up beyond the standard speed of light, which is 299,000 kilometres a second.
What does *slow light* look like?
Will it make me look younger?
The light takes longer to reach your eyes after bouncing off my face, so the image you see is actually the me of a few microseconds ago, not the me of a nanosecond ago.