In an incredible new development scientists have created a laser which is a billion times brighter than the surface of the sun. We’re not exactly sure what they were trying to achieve, but it was found that at this level of brightness light behaves in an interesting way.
It was expected that when shone on objects they would simply appear brighter, as they usually do when you shine a bright light on something. However when you reach these levels of luminosity some funny things start to happen.
When the light collides with an object an electron will scatter one photon, which is the basis of how we see things. However at this brightness the light scattered over 1000 photons. This means that the light that is being reflected is scattering at different angles and with different colours, depending on how bright it is.
This level of brightness, it was found, had the ability to generate extremely detailed, 3-d, x-ray images. And when we say detailed we mean that they can be zoomed in down to the nanoscopic scale. This is incredibly beneficial in the medical industry as professionals will be able to spot tiny fractures and micro tumours, which could then be dealt with before they grow.
They could also be used to take ultrafast images of chemical reactions and electron movements, which would further our understanding on the basic building blocks of the universe.
This is a fascinating discovery, and we can’t wait to see the way its uses trickles down to the scientific community as a whole.
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