Researchers manage to “return at the right time” to the ray of light

Les chercheurs arrivent à faire « remonter le temps » à un rayon de lumière. © Elenamiv, Shutterstock

The team of physicists recently succeeded in making an astonishing achievement. Although researchers have already succeeded in “turning the clock” for all types of waves, this new study addresses a very difficult problem: light.

Before we begin, let’s clarify one thing: it won’t be about going aboard In the Welsh machine In order to go back in time to the danger of our lives, but to withdraw the thread of an event from its final state. Let’s mention.

Imagine dropping a frame into a shapeStar Flattened in a swimming pool. At the moment of contact between the object and the water, a disturbance is created and the resulting wave propagates towards the outside. Pool To reach its walls, as Waves Those created by a boat crossing occasionally fold against the shore. Imagine that the edges of a swimming pool are capable of recording these ripples and then reproducing them in the opposite direction, returning their path to their initial position. This is what the team of researchers was able to achieve in 2016, and the results are astounding. Under the stimulation of the moving walls of the pond, the waves take shape and meet at the center of the pond, recreating the shape that initially hit the surface!

This experiment was carried out by Pagot et al. 2016 shows how reproduction manages the waves emitted by the fall of a form (Eiffel Tower) in the water, which allows them to focus on their early stages. © Pagot et al.

A “time mirror”

This comment ” Glass Temporary ”is also used Sound waves Or electromagnetic, but light waves are very difficult to detect. If the microwave used in other experiments Are slow enough To accurately measure and reproduce, the same is not true Light Know, Its vibrational frequency It is very high, which makes it very vulnerable to disturbances. Where the waves Radio Used by satellites can be easily overcome Clouds Without significant change, the light is scattered. A perfect observation is impossible சோலைல் Round through a Camulonimbus : Its rays are scattered by cloud-forming droplets.

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That is why The new study was published in the journal Nature Communications Very enjoyable! ” Imagine sending a small pulse one way from a small point Subject Will vary like a fog, Explains physicist Michael Mounix. Light starts from a point in space and time, but scatters as it passes Fog Come to the other side at different places and at different times. We found a way to accurately measure where and when this scattered light is coming from, and then create a “glass” version of that light and send it back through the fog. [dans son état de départ jusqu’à son point initial]. »

What’s the use?

The demonstration is beautiful, but some will not fail to retaliate. “ Okay, so what? Therefore, basic research, on the one hand, is an important stage in applied research. If one does not read an event in the first place, no matter how harmless it may seem, one is not likely to discover astonishing properties. Applications That he can hide.

On the other hand, co-author Nick Fontaine points out: “ Being able to control is very importantProgram Lighting as accurately as possible for many applications, from imaging to embossing objects with light to creating beams Laser Very serious. Thus the works produced by Mounix and his colleagues already provide important avenues for exploration in many fields: nonlinear microscopy, micromachining, quantum optics, Optical engine, Nanopotonic, Plasmonic, Optical amplification etc.

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Cary Douglas

About the Author: Cary Douglas

Cary Douglas is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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