Solid stops light

January 8, 2002 | Source: Nature

A crystal that holds light could facilitate quantum computing.
Researchers in the United States and Korea have brought light to a complete standstill in a crystal. The pulse is effectively held within the solid, ready to be released at a later stage.

This trick could be used to store information in a quantum computer.

Normal computers store information in simple binary form (1′s and 0′s) in electronic and magnetic devices. Stationary light pulses can encode information in more sophisticated ways that use the laws of quantum mechanics, making information processing more powerful.

Positioning atoms with lasers