“Frozen Light” Created at Princeton University

"Frozen Light" Created at Princeton University

(Earth Files) Physical Review X reported on September 8, 2014, that Princeton University scientists have created a new form of photonssimilar to a crystal. The orange and blue waves on the left are photonsin the experiment first flowing “easily between two superconducting sites” until on the right, the fast photon oscillations “freeze” into crystal-like structures. Image courtesy Princeton University.

“It’s something that we have never seen before. This is a new behavior for light.” — Andrew Houck, Ph.D., Assoc. Prof. of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University 2014


“Mass is a phenomenon of connecting light rays which go back and forth, sort of freezing them into a pattern. So matter, as it were, is condensed or frozen light.” — David Bohm, Ph.D., Theoretical Physicist, Dialogues with Scientists and Sages, 1986

To build the light crystals, the scientists produced a structure of superconducting materials that contained 100 billion atoms engineered to act as a single “artificial atom.” Then the scientists placed that “atom” next to a superconducting wire that contained photons. In the strange entangling world of quantum mechanics, the photons will begin to interact with the “atom” and begin to act like particles. Postdoctoral researcher and an author Darius Sadri explains, “We have used this blending together of the photons and the ‘atom’ to artificially devise strong interactions among the photons. These interactions then lead to completely new collective behavior for light – akin to the phases of matter such as liquids and crystals studied in condensed matter physics.”

Source: Earth Files

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