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2008-02-26
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Interesting Properties of Light

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Tagged As: Physics and Science

Scientists recently simulated the event horizon of a black hole without collapsing the Earth into their laboratory. By taking advantage of laser properties in a fiber optic channel, researchers were able to pulse a "slow" light wave into the fiber followed by a faster light wave. Distortions and interference prohibit the second light wave from passing the first, allowing the scientists to effectively observer two sides of an event horizon for the first time.

Other researchers have discovered that "regular" light exhibits the same patterns of dark spots as those found in laser speckle. Using an interferometer, scientists were able to identify two types of optical vortices; infinite lines and closed loops. The vortices also scale, as Brownian fractals. The properties exhibited by the lines resemble many of the nuances of string theory, "Universal properties connect fields of research at deeper levels than the exact formulation of each system. Shared fundamental properties or restrictions (like how lines can be embedded in 3D space) result in universal exponents appearing in varied and apparently disconnected fields of research. The fact that vortex lines in light exhibit power laws suggesting universal properties means that these lines are governed by more general laws than wave equations."



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