Physicists have built the world's first device that can cancel out a laser beam - a so-called anti-laser.
The device, created by a team from Yale University, is capable of absorbing an incoming laser beam entirely.
But this is not intended as a defence against high-power laser weapons, the researchers said.
Instead they think it could be used in next-generation supercomputers which will be built with components that use light rather than electrons.
Professor Douglas Stone and colleagues at Yale University had initially been developing a theory to explain which materials could be used as the basis of lasers. ...
Recent advances in laser design have resulted in a number of unusual devices that do not fit the traditional concept of a laser, Professor Stone explained.
"So we were working on a theory that could predict what could be used to form a laser," he said.
That theory also predicted that instead of amplifying light into coherent pulses, as a laser does, it should be possible to create a device that absorbs laser light hitting it, said Professor Stone - an anti-laser.
They have now succeeded in building one.
Their device focuses two lasers beams of a specific frequency into a specially designed optical cavity made from silicon, which traps the incoming beams of light and forces them to bounce around until all their energy is dissipated.
In a paper published in the journal Science they demonstrated that the anti-laser could adsorb 99.4 per cent of incoming light, for a specific wavelength. ...
via BBC News - Scientists build the world's first anti-laser.