Physicists from Moscow state University and Japan slowed light 10 times


Scientists from Moscow state University and Japan learned almost instantly change the polarization of light and to reduce its speed to ten times that will help to create light computers, displays and ultra-fast new computer networks, according to a paper published in the journal Physical Review Applied.

We work together with Professor Inoue for a long time, and during these fifteen years, learned about these amazing nanostructures lot. In our experiments with real crystals, we have achieved that the light comes out of them about ten times later than if it was just in the air, — says Tatiana Dolgova from the Moscow state University named after M. V. Lomonosov.

Dolgov, her colleagues at MSU and physics from University of Technology Toyohashi, Japan, has achieved a similar effect due to the so-called magnetophotonic crystals are special structures that specifically interact with light, changing its polarization, movement speed and several other parameters.
The idea of creating this crystal, which is a set of optical resonators, and particularly retarding the movement of light through the crystal, was first proposed in 1998, the Japanese physicist to Mitsuteru Inoue (Mitsuteru Inoue), one of the authors of the article. Similar slowing of light, as explained Dolgova, it is necessary to create the holographic light memory, three-dimensional screens, as well as magnetic field sensors.

These crystals and related phenomena has long remained the subject of theoretical calculations as long as Dolgov, Inoue, and their colleagues realized that such effects can be achieved using conventional optical resonators and the effects, opened in the 19th century British physicist Michael Faraday.

He found, watching the light through a special prism that transmits only the beams of one polarization, that the light has disappeared or faded, when the rays of the lamp pass through the magnet. In the language of physics, Faraday found that the plane of polarized light is rotated when passing through a magnetized substance.
Using this effect, physics of Moscow state University and Japan has ensured that the plane of polarization of light rotates slow so quickly that changes can be seen even in the ultrashort laser pulse length of 200 femtoseconds. (a femtosecond is one millionth of a nanosecond).

As acknowledged by scientists, yet this effect cannot be used to create supercomputers due to its small power, but these limitations are not fundamental. Thus, the Russian physicists have shown that ultrafast light modulation in magnetophotonic crystals possible and has more good prospects.

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