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Physicists Successfully Tie Light in Knots!

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posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 05:29 PM
G'day ATS, I just find this ubercool! I thought I'd share it with you!

The remarkable feat of tying light in knots has been achieved by a team of physicists working at the universities of Bristol, Glasgow and Southampton, UK, reports a paper in Nature Physics this week.

Understanding how to control light in this way has important implications for laser technology used in wide a range of industries.

From another source:

Science Daily

"In a light beam, the flow of light through space is similar to water flowing in a river. Although it often flows in a straight line -- out of a torch, laser pointer, etc -- light can also flow in whirls and eddies, forming lines in space called 'optical vortices'.

Optical vortices can be created with holograms which direct the flow of light. In this work, the team designed holograms using knot theory -- a branch of abstract mathematics inspired by knots that occur in shoelaces and rope. Using these specially designed holograms they were able to create knots in optical vortices.

I just think that is really interesting, I'm sure over the next few years there will be some exciting applications for this technology!

Check out the links for the full story and a pic or two!

All the best ATS, Kiwifoot!

posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 06:00 PM
Holy cow! Awesome stuff. I guess that explains disc shaped ufos a little more too... make local light go in a whirlpool around your craft to make it invisible.

Can't wait to see what this brings forth to laser displays.

posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 06:06 PM
actually they're tying optical vortices into knots. In an optical vortex the intensity of the light is zero so this means they're actually tying dark into knots.

posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 06:11 PM

Originally posted by WeAreAllGod
actually they're tying optical vortices into knots. In an optical vortex the intensity of the light is zero so this means they're actually tying dark into knots.

You always get one party pooper don't you!?

Just kidding mate, I think the key here is to acknowledge the manipulation of the vortices and to hope that the technology of advanced optical control can be applied to lasers etc.

They seem pretty confident going by the article!

posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 06:20 PM
reply to post by kiwifoot

I know I was just being a smart ass! But seriously Good find! There could certainly be some interesting applications of this new process, perhaps as a means of channeling light pulses along specific paths like in fibre optics.

[edit on 17-1-2010 by WeAreAllGod]

posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 11:01 PM
I like light thats knotted up....

posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 12:56 AM
reply to post by kiwifoot

I know there's a good joke in here somewhere, I just can't put my finger on it.

Still this is a pretty cool development, I just hope they can apply this to other forms of light.

Still working on the joke though, Kiwifoot!

posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 03:07 AM
reply to post by kiwifoot

They're frantically trying to find a way to untie the knot they made?

On-topic: cool stuff! S&F

posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 03:09 AM
God Kiwifoot you really do keep an eye out for the interesting stuff.

I wonder if this could be used as a particle accelerator in the future ?

posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 03:29 AM
i wonder how this will impact in the field of holography. one of the biggest problems i have had in visualizing a classic sci fi hologram was how they would make the beam of light turn back on itself. if this works like they say it works should go a long way to making fully formed 3D hologram projectors a reality. sweeeeeeeet back to the future part 2 jaws 19 watch out lol.

posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 03:54 AM
Wow, this is a shocker for me. Again, things are not as we "think" they are, they can be anything but what you think they are

So arbitrary shapes should be possible soon.

posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 04:06 AM
Hey Bro nice find,

The possibilities for this tech potentially huge, movies, tv, gaming, internet ,sports and so on but Im sure tptb will exploit it and use it for EVIL

[edit on 18-1-2010 by Flying Kiwi]

posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 04:55 AM
Some info I dug up while reading about this cool find.

"Light can be twisted like a corkscrew around its axis of travel. Because of the twisting, the light waves at the axis itself cancel each other out. When projected onto a flat surface, an optical vortex looks like a ring of light, with a dark hole in the center. This corkscrew of light, with darkness at the center, is called an optical vortex."

Whoever wrote this on wiki made it real simple to grasp.

"An optical vortex (also known as a screw dislocation or phase singularity) is a zero of an optical field, a point of zero intensity. Research into the properties of vortices has thrived since a comprehensive paper by Nye and Berry, in 1974,[1] described the basic properties of "dislocations in wave trains". The research that followed became the core of what is now known as "singular optics"."

This is one of the components for figuring out how to make the future computer also.

"Current computers use electrons which have two states, zero and one. Quantum computing could use light to encode and store information. Optical vortices theoretically have an infinite number of states, as there is no limit to the topological charge. This could allow for faster data manipulation. The cryptography community is also interested in optical vortices, as they can communicate using a higher bandwidth of information. However, that will need further developments in optical fibers, since existing optical fibers change the twist of optical vortices when bent or stressed."

So we need better optical fiber tech now.

[edit on 18-1-2010 by muzzleflash]

[edit on 18-1-2010 by muzzleflash]

[edit on 18-1-2010 by muzzleflash]

[edit on 18-1-2010 by muzzleflash]

posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 06:18 AM
If this becomes a public technology then finally scientists will have a "good" explanation for them.

"you just saw someone messing around with a light vortex device in the sky, nothing big"

posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 06:27 AM
:O Oh my God. This has so many ramifications its ridiculous. Everything from cloaking tech to holographic simulation! The implications for almost every field in which light is a key feature are simply staggering !
My flabber, is officialy gasted.

posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 06:31 AM
i reckon it was cool when they slowed light down then stopped it and started it up again,that was done a few years ago.

posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 06:56 AM
Does this mean they can put a "stop" in the beam of a laser pointer?

Google/youtube green lasers. Their beams can be seen, like light sabers, and they can burn, like(weak) light sabers, and the only real difference is that the beam is skinny and keeps going...

Could this be the beginning of actual light sabers?

posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 07:19 AM
reply to post by alaskan

One would assume that this would have more ramifications for industrial technology than military applications at this point. No doubt the equipment required is too large to make it acceptable for man portability !
But given time, who knows what might come of it! Truely inspiring !

posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 08:03 AM
Great find man!! its makes you wonder what else they would be capable of doing with light in the coming years, i mean if you can tie it in knots then surely you could begin to shape it into pretty much anything!!

Awesome stuff!

posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 08:49 AM
Woah... mind blowing!

Thanks for posting!

Now what they need to do is tie a Gordian Knot with light (or dark, as WeAreAllGod said) and then figure out a way to cut it.

Oooh... maybe this explains how Dark Helmet and Lone Starr got their Schwartz Sabers twisted! They must've fought their way into an Optical Vortex

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