Nov 12, 2016 I Brett Tingley

Lasers and Anti-Lasers Square Off In Bizarre Experiment

The Department of Energy occasionally gets up to some spooky, fringe science. Heavily redacted documents obtained through the Freedom of Information act recently confirmed that the DOE has conducted research on parallel universes and human test subjects, lending credence to some of the more out-there government research conspiracy theories. Just this week, scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory announced the results of an experiment which aimed lasers and anti-lasers at each other just to, you know, see what happens. Oh, and apparently anti-lasers are a real thing.

The researchers and their super-cool laser/anti-laser contraption.

The researchers used cutting-edge nanochemistry to develop laser elements capable of the most precise amplification and absorption. By syncing laser perfectly against anti-lasers on the opposite end of a cavity such as a fiber optic cable, near-simultaneous speeds of data transmission can be achieved.

The laser/anti-laser battle we were all hoping for deep down.

Lead author Zi Jing Wong stated in a press release issued by the Lawrence Berkeley lab that this breakthrough could open up entirely new areas of optical science technology research:

On-demand control of light from coherent absorption to coherent amplification was never imagined before, and it remains highly sought after in the scientific community. This device can potentially enable a very large contrast in modulation with no theoretical limits.

The data from these experiments have been published in Nature Photonics. According to the publication, their results have exciting implications for telecommunications technologies:

Here, we experimentally realize lasing and anti-lasing at the same frequency in a single cavity using parity–time symmetry [...] Lasing and anti-lasing in a single device offers a new route for light modulation with high contrast approaching the ultimate limit.

Wow, I knew some of those words. The term “laser” is an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.” Essentially, a laser is a highly concentrated beam of photons, or light. An anti-laser, then is a device with a completely opposite phase than its corresponding laser, resulting in the near-complete absorption of light.

The laser and anti-laser are synced so that incredible speeds of data transmission can occur between them.

Because, after all, we all know that nothing shuts down a weekend of Netflix binge watching like slow data speeds. Hurry it up, researchers, I’ve only got three days to get through Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Brett Tingley

Brett Tingley is a writer and musician living in the ancient Appalachian mountains.

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