10 years ago, the German physicist Ortwin Hess in his article “Storage of light in the trap to the rainbow of metamaterials” have suggested that light can be slowed down by using new materials.
As is known, the speed of light in vacuum is 300 thousand km/sec, but when passing through transparent materials (water, glass) it is slightly “slows down”. According to scientists, if this velocity is to reduce millions of times, the light could be used, for example, to transmit and store information.
Ortwin Hess and colleagues at Tsakmakidis Kosmas and Alan Boardman suggested to use for slowing down light metamaterial that do not occur in nature. According to scientists, they can not only slow light but also to “catch” it.
The process of creating a trap for rainbow nanoplasmonic relies on structures that are particularly atypical of properties in the surrounding “normal” material. When light passes through the metamaterial, on the border between the two materials he is experiencing a small pullback. The same thing happens when the skier climbs up a steep snowy slope
at each step we have a small pullback.
In relation to metamaterial the following occurs: when the “rollback” of light it gradually slows down and all the components of the spectrum – each color stop in your own point. As a result, the rainbow turns into a kind of “trap”.
The effect of the slowdown faster than light has some very useful applications. For example, it can be used as a method of data transmission. Another promising direction is the formation of biomedical images. Sometimes to get a clear picture you need to increase the intensity of the laser beam, which can lead to destruction of the object. Slowing light, such negative consequences can be avoided.