Inside solids, the properties of photons can be altered in ways that create a kind of "artificial gravity" that affects light. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh tracked photons with a streak camera and found that whey they enter a solid-state structure, they act just like a ball being thrown in the air: they slow down as they move up, come to a momentary stop, and fall back the other way. Studying this "slow reflection" will allow us to manipulate light's behavior, including its speed and direction, with potential applications in telecommunications and quantum computing technologies.
About dwsnokeDavid Snoke (Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, A.B. Cornell University) is Professor of Physics at the University of Pittsburgh. He leads an experimental optics laboratory which studies basic quantum mechanical effects in semiconductors. He recently published an undergraduate textbook on electronics (Pearson, 2015) which integrates basic physics concepts with understanding electronic circuits.
by David Snoke