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Intellect

"Stopped light" topic of BYU physics lecture Feb. 3

A senior lecturer of physics at Harvard University will discuss new manifestations of the rules of quantum mechanics Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 7:30 p.m. in W112 Ezra Taft Benson Building on the Brigham Young University campus.

Ron Walsworth, a senior researcher with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, will discuss "The Story of 'Stopped Light.'" Admission is free and the public is welcome.

Recent experiments by Walsworth and others have shown that a pulse of light can be brought to a stop in a specially prepared cloud of atoms and then reaccelerated and released on command.

Quantum mechanics is a set of laws, based on the atomic scale, which describes how atoms behave in certain situations, said Scott Bergeson, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at BYU.

Stopped light has potential applications to quantum communication, or ultrasecure communication methods based on quantum mechanics. One application may include the development of more powerful computers.

In addition to his stopped light research, Walsworth leads a research group pursuing a wide range of investigations, including the development of atomic clocks, precise tests of fundamental physical laws and symmetries, and biomedical imaging with applications to pulmonary physiology and medicine.

For more information, contact Scott Bergeson at (801) 422-6161.

Writer: Thomas Grover

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