University of Central Florida researchers have discovered a way to make pulses of light travel 30-times faster than normal, slow it down to half the speed of light, and even send it backwards. “We’re able to control the speed of the pulse by going into the pulse itself and reorganizing its energy such that its space and time degrees of freedom are mixed in with each other. We’re very happy with these results, and we’re very hopeful it’s just the starting point of future research,” said researcher Ayman Abouraddy. Read more for another video and additional information.
“The researchers were able to develop the technique by using a special device known as a spatial light modulator to mix the space and time properties of light, thereby allowing them to control the velocity of the pulse of light. The mixing of the two properties was key to the technique’s success,” reports Phys.org.