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Shining a light around corners
Date:6/16/2010

nt through crystals, light waves bounce inside the crystal, changing their wavelength and color. It is through this process, the researchers say, that the door is opened for creating new light beams at new wavelengths with greater control of their trajectories.

"We've found a way to control whether an Airy beam curves to the left or to the right, for example," says Prof. Arie. He has also found a way to control the peak intensity location of the beams, which are generated through a nonlinear optical process.

Nonlinear optics is a sub-field of optics that deals with the response of materials to high intensities of light. The strong interaction between light and material results in the generation of new colors, which are half the wavelength of the original input light frequency. For example, a nonlinear response to infrared light can generate visible light ― which is how those bright, green "laser pointers," often used in presentations given in large rooms, generate their light.

Airy beams promise remarkable advances for engineering. They could form the technology behind space-age "light bullets" as effective and precise defense technologies for police and the military, but also as a new communications interface between transponders. As tiny, tight packets of information, these Airy beams could be used out in the open air, researchers hope.


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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert  

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