Stories

This laser is a billion times brighter than the sun

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Researchers just discovered that some very strange things happen to electrons when they are hit with a laser with the power of a billion suns. The electrons changed their own path when hit by the laser, and then altered the way in which photons of light scattered once they bounced off.

Why it matters: This second effect (the scattering of photons of light, which is the basis for how we "see" things) could fundamentally alter our understanding of vision and the way in which light and matter interact, the researchers said in Nature Photonics. The use of intense light could also allow researchers to detect cancerous tumors or micro-fractures that x-rays might miss.