Scientists Make Light Travel 30x Faster, Slow Down And Even Travel Backward

By: | April 8th, 2019


In a revolutionary research, scientists from University of Central Florida have developed a way to control the speed of a light pulse in free space. Scientists claimed to speed up a pulse of light by 30 times and also made it to slow down and even travel backward.

In earlier attempts, scientists were trying to control the speed of light by passing light through various materials. However, this latest technique, allows the speed to be adjusted in the open, without passing it through any material.

Science behind:

The researchers used a special device known as a spatial light modulator device which was used to mix the space and time properties of light. This way, researchers were able to control the velocity of the pulse of light.

Researcher Ayman Abouraddy said in a statement, “We’re able to control the speed of the pulse by going into the pulse itself and reorganizing its energy such that its space and time degrees of freedom are mixed in with each other,”

“We’re very happy with these results, and we’re very hopeful it’s just the starting point of future research.”

Great Achievement for future:

Scientists foresee that in future, this research will help in alleviating data congestion and check information loss and hence will lead to more efficient optical communication.

 Abouraddy said, “This is the first clear demonstration of controlling the speed of a pulse light in free space. And it opens up doors for many applications, an optical buffer being just one of them, but most importantly it’s done in a simple way, that’s repeatable and reliable.”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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