TrendInTech] Researchers at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln have produced the brightest human-made light on Earth and have discovered a previously unknown was that light and matter work together. The Diocles Laser can shine a beam one billion times brighter than the surface of the sun and may be the next step in developing better X-ray technology.
Typically, light from any source, be it a light bulb or the Sun,
scatters when it meets with an object. The reflected photons allow our
eyes to see the object, but the physical appearance of the object does
not change, other than appearing brighter when the light is stronger or
However, this is not the case with the Diocles Laser. When the laser
is turned on the behavior of the particles involved changes.
Researchers pointed the powerful laser at electrons trapped in
helium, then tracked the way in which the photons bounced off a solo
electron. Normally, a single electron should scatter a single photon at a
time. But with the specialty light of the laser up to 1,000 photons
were dispersed at a time.
“When we have this unimaginably bright light, it turns out that the
scattering – this fundamental thing that makes everything visible –
fundamentally changes in nature,” explains Donald Umstadter, the lead
scientist on the study, “It’s as if things appear differently as you
turn up the brightness of the light, which is not something you normally
would experience. “An object” normally becomes brighter, but otherwise,
it looks just like it did with a lower light level. But here, the light
is changing (the object’s) appearance. The light’s coming off at
different angles, with different colors, depending on how bright it is.” Read More