Let There Not Be Light

scientists at Yale University have built the world’s first anti-laser, in which incoming beams of light interfere with one another in such a way as to perfectly cancel each other out.

World’s first anti-laser built

Yesterday upon the stair

I saw some light that wasn’t there.

It wasn’t there again today.

I wish, I wish, ‘twould stay away.

With apologies to W. H. Means

Light beamed  into this anti-laser is turned into mechanical heat, with an efficiency of 99.4%. It is hard to imagine a direct use for this technical tour-de-force, but I recall that one fundamental limit of computation is resetting the bits–erasing stored information. Perhaps could be used to reset the bits of an optical computer.

It’s cool even if it’s useless.

 



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