Ultrashort light pulses for fast 'lightwave' computers

Extremely short, configurable "femtosecond" pulses of light demonstrated by an international team could lead to future computers that run up to 100,000 times faster than today's electronics.

Light controls matter, matter controls x-rays

Like playing a game of scissors-paper-rock, a team of scientists led by Thornton E. (Ernie) Glover of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Advanced Light Source (ALS), Linda Young of Argonne National Laboratory, and Ali ...

Gold in limbo between solid and melted states

If you heat a solid material enough, the thermal energy (latent heat) causes the material's molecules begin to break apart, forming a liquid. One of the most familiar examples of this phase transition from a well-ordered ...

Observing changes in the chirality of molecules in real time

Some molecules can exist in two mirror-image forms, similar to our hands. Although such so-called enantiomers have almost identical physical properties, they are not the same. The fact that they behave to each other like ...

What really happens at femtosecond junctions?

When beams of ultra-short laser pulses running in the same direction intersect with each other at a noticeable angle, various interactions occur between the pulses. These physical phenomena are complicated, and their mathematical ...

Directivity to improve optical devices

A team of researchers from the Dutch institute AMOLF, Western University (Canada), and the University of Texas (United States of America) recently demonstrated the use of algorithmic design to create a new type of nanophotonic ...

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