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Japanese scientists trap light!

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posted on Jan, 7 2004 @ 12:10 PM
TOKYO (AFP) - A group of Japanese scientists have become the first to succeed in trapping part of the light spectrum inside a tiny cube full of holes, technology that could be used in military stealth equipment or a light-based computer.

The team managed to trap electromagnetic waves of a certain frequency inside the cube -- called a Menger sponge -- for one ten-millionth of a second.

Yoshinari Miyamoto, director of the Smart Processing Research Center at Osaka University, who headed the project, said the effect is similar to that of a black hole in outer space, except on a smaller scale.

"For a specific wavelength, this acts as a black body," he told AFP.

The team's results, claimed as a world first, are to be published in the US journal Physical Review Letters possibly this month, he said.

He said despite the short duration of the trapping effect, it could be enough for real applications.

"Such a time may be enough for a high-speed computer circuit," Miyamoto said. "Our next step to develop extend that storage time."

The team is considering using material with lower light absorption and creating a cube with more holes, he said.

The wave-trapping technology could be used to block unwanted cellphone transmissions, and "theoretically" in military stealth applications, he said, but noted that was not the aim of the project.

"In Japan, we don't like to think of applying it to such things," he said.


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