Yale University builds world's first anti-laser
Friday, February 18, 2011
A team at US has built the world's first — or coherent perfect absorber (CPA). The device, constructed from , absorbs light and dissipates the energy as heat.in the
|We couldn't have expected to do any better
Professor Hui Cao's researchers were following on from theoretical work last year by Professor Douglas Stone. Stone explained "we were working on a theory that could predict what could be used to form a laser," and the theory also predicted the possibility of an anti-laser. Lasers amplify light to producepulses.
The new anti-laser focuses two identical laser beams towards each other. The light is trapped in an wavelength of 998.5 , which is close to .and bounces until all the energy is converted into heat. The one constructed by Yale used a piece of silicon 110 wide; it absorbed 99.4% of light at a
Stone felt "[t]heory and experiment matched very well. We couldn't have expected to do any better." The theory suggests that 99.999% could be absorbed, but Yale blamed "experimental limitations" for not achieving this. Yale explained that more sophisticated anti-lasers may approach this absorption rate, and added that simulations suggest much smaller versions could be made.
The research team believes it could have applications in, with machines and not like regular computers. Many computer components are already manufactured from silicon. Since the energy is dissipated as heat, however, use is limited against since the heat would damage the target anyway.
General light-absorption is not difficult, according to Stone, but this is the first time a device has been built targeted to the specific-wavelength beams produced by lasers.
- "Scientists build the world's first anti-laser" — , February 17, 2011
- Jeff Hecht. "'Anti-laser' built for first time" — , February 17, 2011
- Press Release. "Scientists Build World’s First Anti-laser" — , February 17, 2011