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August 14 2013

Speedy Light Slowed to a Crawl in Liquid Crystal Matrix


Light speeds through space, bouncing off objects as it races at about 186,282 miles per second. Now, scientists may have found a way to halt this mad dash. They've discovered that they can slow light by using embedded dye molecules in a liquid crystal matrix; the findings could one day lead to new technologies in remote sensing and measurement science.

Scientists have long known that a wave packet of light becomes more sluggish when it travels through matter. Yet the magnitude of this slow-down in typical materials such as glass or water is less than a factor of two. That's why researchers decided to see if there was another way to slow down light a bit further.

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