April 15, 2015

Light in a spin

Light must travel in a straight line and at a constant speed, or so the laws of nature suggest. Now, researchers at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg have demonstrated that laser light traveling along a helical path through space, can accelerate and decelerate as it spins into the distance.

This is the first time that angular acceleration has been observed with light, and is therefore likely to lead to new applications using these structured light fields.

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