Real Lightsaber Invented; Star Wars Weapon now a Reality
It's a Star Wars fan's dream come true: the lightsaber is now real! Researchers from MIT and Harvard discovered how to gather photons and atoms to create a new form of matter, according to CNET.
The real-life lightsaber however, is no deadly weapon; it's not the kind that could pierce and slice through the most solid, resilient surfaces such as the dark heart of a Sith warrior. Instead, this form of matter may be used in 'advanced quantum computing,' that would revolutionize how information may be transmitted.
Published in the Science journal, "Nature" the research team wrote, "The fundamental properties of light derive from its constituent particles-massless quanta (photons) that do not interact with one another. However, it has long been known that the realization of coherent interactions between individual photons, akin to those associated with conventional massive particles, could enable a wide variety of novel scientific and engineering applications."
One possible use for this breakthrough is the delivery of quantum information, according to Michael D. Lukin, one of the authors of the study. He explained that "Photons remain the best possible means to carry quantum information. The handicap, though, has been that photons don't interact with each other," as reported by CNET. With the success of Lukin's team, photons mixed with 'cold rubidium atoms' interact, causing new form of matter to develop. And the resulting matter? It looks exactly like the lightsaber that heroic Jedi knights wielded against Sith warriors. The resemblance stops there, however; as the team made no indication that the new matter may be weaponized.
Prof. Vladan Vulatec, one of the authors of the study and a physicist at MIT, did emphasize that this breakthrough may lead to "amazing scientific advancements," according to Web Pro News. Such breakthroughs may include the development of practical applications for modern chipmakers that aim to convert light into electric signals, and the development of technologies that 'allow for the creation of complex 3D structures, like crystals, made out of light,' as reported by CNET.