German scientists at Darmstadt Technical University have managed to stop light for an entire minute, smashing earlier records. They stopped the light using a technique called electromagnetically induced transparency, in which complex information was imprinted on a light beam. Basically, they directed a second light source at the now-transparent crystal, turned the control laser off making it opaque, thus causing the light from the secondary source to remain trapped inside the crystal. The opacity meant that the light inside could no longer bounce around. Continue reading for a video news report and more information.
“Through multiple trials, the team was then able to extend the period of time in which the light remained halted within the crystal until they reached the record-breaking minute. [PhD student] Heinze said it should even be possible to achieve longer light storage times with other crystals, because they have pushed their current material close to its physical limit. Although light normally travels at just under 300 million metres per second in a vacuum, this is not the first time scientists have managed to halt it,” reports The Daily Mail.