Feeds

Boffins have constructed a new LIGHT SABRE. Their skills are complete

Truly, they are as powerful as the Emperor has foreseen

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Top boffins in the US say they have managed to make light behave in the same way as solid matter – and they've saved us the trouble by suggesting that this is pretty much the same as building a working Jedi light sabre.

"It's not an inapt analogy to compare this to light sabers," boasts Harvard physics prof Mikhail Lukin, one of the top brains involved in the new developments.

"The physics of what's happening in these molecules is similar to what we see in the movies," he adds.

Lukin and his colleagues at the Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms say that they have managed to fashion molecules – which must in general be composed in humdrum style from atoms and so forth, things having mass – out of photons. They did this by a cunning process involving (as one really might have expected) ultracold atoms, in this case rubidium ones used to slow down individual photons to the point where they actually bound together into molecules.

Molecules made of light.

"We do this for fun," explains Lukin. "It's a new state of matter."

A press release from Harvard, highlighting the research, goes so far as to add:

Lukin also suggested that the system might one day even be used to create complex three-dimensional structures – such as crystals – wholly out of light.

It seems that the professor is well up on his Star Wars lore, as dedicated students of the Force will usually tell you that a crystal of some kind is necessary for a Jedi to construct his or her signature weapon.

Full detail is available, for those with the intellectual grunt to cope with it, here courtesy of hefty boffinry mag Nature. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
'Utter killjoy Reg hacks have NEVER BEEN LAID', writes a fan
'Shuddit, smarty pants!' Some readers reacted badly to our last Doctor Who review ...
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?
How artificial lighting could offer an artificial promise
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.