Humans tame light, stop it from moving for a full minute

30 July 2013Science

Jacob Kastrenakes reporting for The Verge:

Beams of light are usually speeding along at around 186,000 miles per second, but for one minute, researchers in Germany brought some to a screeching halt. Using a crystal frozen to temperatures below negative 450 degrees Fahrenheit, a research team managed to hold light in place for a full minute — marking a drastic increase from the previous record of just 16 seconds. The technology will eventually be applied to quantum computing as a way to retrieve and read data, but it’ll have to work on a much smaller scale and for much longer periods of time before that can happen.

This is quite fascinating. I’ve always thought of light as something fleeting that couldn’t be stored.