Light stopped for 60 seconds inside a crystal at a research center in Germany after scientists fired lasers at it. No, this isn’t the opening scene of a James Bond film — this is physics, and it’s happening right now. Scientists at the University of Darmstadt in Germany stopped light, the fastest thing in the universe, dead in its tracks, and held it there for a whole minute.
…Light travels at a speed of 186,282 miles per second. It takes just over a second (1.2862 seconds, to be exact) for a beam of light to reach the moon. The team of university researchers in Germany was able to stop light for 60 seconds using crystals and lasers.
Another physicist had previously trapped light, but not for a couple of seconds. What does it mean, besides being able to trap light and not cause some kind of tragic death wave to roll through the universe. For reasons I am not completely clear on, this opens up the possibility of quantum communication. At least a couple times a year someone makes some discovery in physicist and claims this may lead to quantum communication. Apparently the Chinese are pretty sure already they can do that (using a special German satellite). Since the Chinese quantum communication involves sending photons with a laser pulse, quantum communication can mean more than one thing. So I’ll keep a look-out for some physicists to set the ground rules on what exactly quantum communication is and specific names for the various kinds being developed.
Frances, 1930s. Toned gelatin silver photograph, by Consuelo Kanaga (1894-1978).
Wisconsin GOP Gov. Gives Thumbs-Up to Private Security Commandos Hired By Greedy Mining Co. The company has come up with a strategy to thwart future protests: label the protesters “eco-terrorists.” If you’ve scrolled through the comments on a newspaper site or some blogs you know how quickly the discussion becomes flame throwing generalizations. Those left-of-center are not angels, but they’re generally better at keeping to the facts. One easy tactic, long practiced by political zealots is to paint the other side with the wrong doings of a few. If you get a couple dozen people together one is going to be a little faster to anger and bad behavior – apply that function to hundreds, to thousands to millions of people – guaranteed a few are going to be short fuses. So it goes with the environment. Some of the protesting is like so bad dude, like shouting and calling people names – goodness forbid. Though seriously, some have gotten physically combative and damaged property beyond anything that can be justified as civil disobedience. That tiny group is all the excuse Wisconsin Gov. Walker needs to call in a private army of head busters. None of you ordinary folk concerned about water quality, clean air and slag heaps will be considered reasonable citizens, you are a defacto terror suspect against the holy goodness of everything big mining companies do. So the 1st Amendment takes another beating in the name of safety and security.