Scientists have created a laser that violates the laws of light propagation
Researchers have developed a new laser beam that does not change speed as it travels through different media.
If you put a spoon in a glass of water, then it will seem to be broken at the border between water and air. This effect occurs due to the fact that light travels through air faster than through water, so its rays bend when it enters a denser environment. However, a team of physicists at the University of Central Florida has created a laser that violates Snell’s Law, which describes similar physical phenomena..
Scientists have developed a system that generates laser pulses that can behave the same in different environments, or even move faster in denser materials. In this case, it is not the oscillations of the light waves themselves that change, but the speed of movement of their peaks. The team achieved this with a spatial light modulator. Physicists named such impulses «wave packets of space-time».
Since the rays are not refracted, they can simultaneously reach points in space in different environments, which makes it possible to bring military communications technologies to a new level.
However, despite the violation of Fermat’s usual postulates about the propagation of light, scientists say that such laser beams do not contradict the laws of physics and fit into the special theory of relativity.
We also previously reported on the development of an efficient method for converting light into matter..
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Getty Images