In order to answer "fundamental questions about the physics of matter," researchers at Princeton University have managd to "freeze" light by transforming it into a crystal. While the discovery could open the doors to new materials, the goal is to ultimately control and direct the flow of energy at atomic level.
Türeci said that scientists have explored the nature of light for centuries; discovering that sometimes light behaves like a wave and other times like a particle. In the lab at Princeton, the researchers have engineered a new behavior.
"Here we set up a situation where light effectively behaves like a particle in the sense that two photons can interact very strongly," he said. "In one mode of operation, light sloshes back and forth like a liquid; in the other, it freezes."
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