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post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by avesdude View Post

Yeah the title of this article is a pretty serious fail.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
They aren't trapping light in the crystal, they are converting light into atomic spins and then back. They aren't stopping the light, they are converting the information to another form.

To the people asking about power storage: very very little power could be stored. Currently we have the ability to alter the spin states of nuclei. This is actually easy to do, we use the magnetic properties of electromagnetic waves (light). If we do so in an external magnetic field, we can store potential energy since we have induced "order." As the nuclei that have been pulsed by light relax in the external magnetic field, they in turn release light which reduces their "order" and induces current in a detector coil. This (very simplified) is the basis of MRI (which is really Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging, but we Americans are afraid of the N word) and NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance). The point being, the excitation energy is dramatically higher than the released energy. This energy gap is one of the major challenges of instrument design.

In short, atomic coherence cannot store much energy.

As a sidenote, this is also why they cannot store the information for long. The scientists have put the crystal into a higher energy state, which spontaneously relaxes through all the available means. When the crystal is transparent, it relaxes by emission of photons. However, there is not only one method for relaxation. In the article, they use the term "fizzles." Nuclear spin flipping is another mechanism of relaxation.

Edit:
If anyone wants to read the original paper, it is available free here:
http://physics.aps.org/featured-article-pdf/10.1103/PhysRevLett.111.033601


As I suspected. Entropy has always been the enemy of these low temp crystal experiments. Only way I can see now is if someone combines this technique with this other one, which obviously complicates things hopelessly:

http://www.overclock.net/t/1345371/space-atoms-reach-record-temperature-colder-than-absolute-zero/0_40

...we really do need more power.
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post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rykoshet View Post

Really? You think our governments would ever let you hold something that has such destructive potential?

No...we're lucky they let us board planes with our laptop batteries...

Your thinking in the now.
Worse things than laptop batteries are loaded onto planes, you just don't know it.






...like cats.
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post #33 of 38
Does this mean we can travel at the speed of light? Or have quantum memories implanted in our minds?
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post #34 of 38
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post #35 of 38
Sounds they have no clue how to actually detect information from that feature of the crystal if they would try to use multiple light samples to create a meaningfully large amount of data.

And I suspect they will not find a way for a while longer..
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post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by fateswarm View Post

Sounds they have no clue how to actually detect information from that feature of the crystal if they would try to use multiple light sources to create a meaningfully large amount of data.

And I suspect they will not find a way for a while longer..

No..... that's not it at all. The used the 2nd light source to store/unstore the data of the 1st source....it sounds very much like a transistor.
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post #37 of 38
This is interesting,what could be the benefits of stopping light? Just storing data?
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post #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post

No..... that's not it at all. The used the 2nd light source to store/unstore the data of the 1st source....it sounds very much like a transistor.

And the crystals were cryogenically cooled and I don't know if they needed to be long enough..
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