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Articles on Photons

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Lasers create colorful light shows at concerts, are used by doctors in surgeries – and are used in scientific laboratories. EyeWolf/Getty Images

What is the slowest thing on Earth?

Physicists can use bright, hot lasers to slow atoms down so much that they measure -459 degrees Fahrenheit.
An illustration of two neutron stars spinning around each other while merging. NASA/CXC/Trinity University/D. Pooley et al.

New era of astronomy uncovers clues about the cosmos

Astronomers are now able to detect a host of signals streaming through the universe. This newfound ability is like gaining new senses and it’s opening the door to understanding the cosmos.
A basic design of a light-based chip. Arnab Hazari

The future of electronics is light

As electronic transistors get tinier, they approach a point at which they won’t be able to get smaller. How can we keep shrinking our devices, and making them more powerful at the same time? Light.
A visualisation of simulation data showing light successfully trapped at a standstill.

Hold it right there: how (and why) to stop light in its tracks

Freezing light in mid-air isn’t just the realm of Star Wars, as new research shows. But what do you do with the light once it’s trapped? One option is to use it to develop new forms of computers.
Every day stuff for supernovae. Santitep Mongkolsin/Shutterstock

‘Supernova in a bottle’ will help create matter from light

In 1934, two physicists came up with a theory that described how to create matter from pure light. But they dismissed the idea of ever observing such a phenomenon in the laboratory because of the difficulties…
Teleportation is still well and truly entrenched in science fiction, unless you’re a photon. Photon™

Teleportation just got easier – but not for you, unfortunately

Thanks to two studies published in Nature last Thursday, the chance of successful teleportation has considerably increased. Which is a good thing, right? Whether or not you’ve ever been on a long-haul…
When you shine a torch into a dusty room, not all the photons reach their destination. Simon Greig (xrrr)

‘Louder’ light could power a brighter quantum future

All of the light we see around us comes in chunks of energy known as photons. As well as making up light, photons can be used to carry and process information and their quantum properties make possible…

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