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(July 05, 2002)


AND THEN THERE WAS LIQUID...

Something else that makes me say oooh....

A GROUP of Spanish scientists may have worked out a way of turning light into liquid.

Computer simulations carried out at the University of Vigo in Ourense showed light splits into water-like droplets under certain conditions.

The team behind the study is confident the phenomenon could lead to applications in next-generation computing.

Manipulating the effect could offer a means of controlling the flow of photons around an optical circuit.

Research leader Humberto Michinel told New Scientist: "Liquid drops are optimal candidates to be information bits."

The team made the discovery studying light pulses concentrated by a high-energy laser beam.

They found the column of light displayed a surface tension akin to water.

Bouncing the pulse off other surfaces shattered it into 'droplets'.

But other scientists in the field appear to be sceptical.

While the effect may appear in computer simulation, finding a material to repeat the condition in the laboratory could prove elusive.
posted by Ron 00:31
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