By May 22, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Scientists Claim ‘Matter Will Be Created From Light’ Within a Year

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It’s a bold claim, but scientists are now saying they have worked out how to make matter from pure light. Within a year, researchers claim, they will be able to demonstrate the feat.

The process of creating matter from pure light was first described in a theory presented more than 80 years ago by two physicists who later gained acclaim by working on the first atomic bomb. At first, however, they said they considered the conversion of light into matter to be impossible in a laboratory setting.

When Gregory Breit and John Wheeler, first proposed the theory, back in 1934, they surmised that in rare cases, two particles of light, or photons, combine to produce an electron and its antimatter equivalent, a positron. Breit and Wheeler, however, had no expectations that their theory would be proved any time in the near future. In fact, they claimed that it would be “hopeless to try to observe the pair formation in laboratory experiments”.

But just this past Sunday, in the journal Nature Photonics, physicists at Imperial College London published a report claiming that they have solved the problem that would have made this impossible in a laboratory, by using high-powered lasers as well as other modern equipment.

But now, Steven Rose, one of the researchers at Imperial explained, “We have shown in principle how you can make matter from light. If you do this experiment, you will be taking light and turning it into matter.”

Oliver Pike, the lead researcher of the study, said that this was an elegant demonstrations of Einstein’s famous relationship that shows matter and energy are interchangeable. “The Breit-Wheeler process is the simplest way matter can be made from light and one of the purest demonstrations of E=mc2,” he said.

Andrei Seryi, the director of the John Adams Institute at Oxford University, commented on the study, saying: “It’s breathtaking to think that things we thought are not connected, can in fact be converted to each other: matter and energy, particles and light. Would we be able in the future to convert energy into time and vice versa?”

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