Frozen Light




A graduate of Physical-Technical Institute has created a prototype time machine

Andrew Vaganov

Laser phantom replaces man.
Photo: Reuters

The photon flux is stopped. It seems that the current experimental physicists took Goethe's famous line — "Stop a moment, you're great!" — That as a guide to action. It is about experiments on the recording light information. Stop a moment — it literally means to stop the beam of light.

Photo. Holography. Kvantografiya?

On experiments on "stop light" you can look, considering the whole, almost two centuries, the history of the recording light information.

The first stage. Record information on the energy level. This is the photo that started with "heliography" Joseph Nicephore Niepce in the thirties of the XIX century. It was a black-and-white recording still images on photosensitive material. In photography, recorded only the spatial distribution of the light intensity.

The second stage — the wave level. In the hologram is recorded information about not only the intensity but also the phase of the light, it captures the picture of light illuminating objects, along with the light reflected from the object. The method of holography was discovered half a century ago.

And finally, — the third stage. This is a record of information about the light at the quantum level in specially created environments that are sensitive to all the information about light: wavelength, phase of light waves, the direction of propagation. By this stage, and are pioneering experiments Mikhail Lukin, a graduate of the Moscow Physical-Technical Institute, now — the head of the laboratory at Harvard University (USA).

Researchers from Harvard University (USA) reported that they were able to instantly record any and all information about the light beam and just as quickly, "on demand" control laser beam — read this information in the form of a fully "restore" the original beam. As a medium for the "freeze" was selected pairs of supercooling (near absolute zero!) Of rubidium atoms. On the rubidium atoms as a magnetic tape, and "written" all quantum-mechanical characteristics of the laser radiation.

The laser beam is caught

Mikhail Lukin and his colleagues were able to "slow down" a laser beam of a second. The scale of the quantum world — is a giant amount of time. Almost an eternity! But what is the — second "stop" a ray of light? In fact, it is implemented in the "iron" time machine that can take us back to a full second! While on the second.

Is it possible to "freeze" the light beam for longer than one second? After all, if so recorded, for example, today, events, objects, people could literally come to life at our request through dozens, hundreds, or perhaps thousands of years in its original form. But we find a way to "revive" accidentally created by nature "frozen" state (say, somewhere in outer space), then it would mean the opportunity to travel not only forward but also backward in time. This possibility has long been described in one of the earliest novels by Strugatsky brothers' return. It is noon. XXII century. "

The collector of the scattered information (CWI) collected information about all the events taking place in nature and society. "Ultimately, they are the energy in one form or another — written by Strugatsky — and the problem of collecting a very complicated by the fact that over millions of years, the primary forms of undergoing multiple changes. Theoretically, any trace can be found and restored — and trace photon collisions with molecules in the skin of a brontosaurus, Brontosaurus and teeth marks on tree ferns. " CWI and was created to filter and retrieve the information. As a result, a physicist at the XXII century boldly declares: "We have witnessed the supernova explosion near the Sun one hundred million years ago. We saw a fight dinosaurs and episodes from the Battle of Poitiers, aliens and spaceships still something strange and incomprehensible, what we do not yet have any correspondence or analogy. "

"Laws that forbid it, no, — said in a conversation with me, head of the Laboratory of Laser Spectroscopy of the Institute of Spectroscopy, Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor Vladilen Letokhov. — Now more than a second store this state impossible, but I can not say that this is impossible. Quantum physics does not forbid it. "


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