Glass fiber that brings light to standstill

Posted by Zenphamy 7 years, 2 months ago to Science
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Now, here's the question for fun.

If light always travels at the speed of light when free in vacuum and you can now stop it, what re-accelerates it back to the velocity of light?

"Light is an extremely useful tool for quantum communication, but it has one major disadvantage: it usually travels at the speed of light and cannot be kept in place. A team of scientists at the Vienna University of Technology has now demonstrated that this problem can be solved - not only in strange, unusual quantum systems, but in the glass fiber networks we are already using today.
By coupling atoms to glass fibers light was slowed down to a speed of 180 km/h. The team even managed to bring the light to a complete stop and to retrieve it again later. This technology is an important prerequisite for a future glassfiber-based quantum-internet, in which quantum information can be teleported over great distances."

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