03-16-07, 10:09 PM
I know they stopped light, but I didnt know they were able to do this as well!
03-17-07, 01:47 AM
THEY HAVE NOT MADE MATTER OUT OF LIGHT.
... you have read the finer details.
from that link...
In her latest work, Hau and her co-authors, Naomi S. Ginsberg and Sean R. Garner, found that the light pulse can be revived, and its information transferred between the two clouds of sodium atoms, by converting the original optical pulse into a traveling matter wave which is an exact matter copy of the original pulse, traveling at a molasses-like pace of 200 m (600 ft) per hour. The matter pulse is readily converted back into light when it enters the second of the supercooled clouds -- known as Bose-Einstein condensates -- and is illuminated with a control laser.
"The Bose-Einstein condensates are very important to this work because within these clouds atoms become phase-locked, losing their individuality and independence," Hau said. "The lock-step nature of atoms in a Bose-Einstein condensate makes it possible for the information in the initial light pulse to be replicated exactly within the second cloud of sodium atoms, where the atoms collaborate to revive the light pulse."
Within a Bose-Einstein condensate -- a cloud of sodium atoms cooled to just billionths of a degree above absolute zero -- a light pulse is compressed by a factor of 50 million, without losing any of the information stored within it. The light drives some of the cloud's roughly 1.8 million sodium atoms to enter into "quantum superposition" states, with a lower-energy component that stays put and a higher-energy component that travels between the two clouds.
Making matter out of light is as simple as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pair_production