light pulses

05/02/2012 - 13:40

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a novel way of producing light pulses that are "superluminal"—in some sense they travel faster than the speed of light. The technique, called four-wave mixing, reshapes parts of light pulses and advances them ahead of where they would have been had they been left to travel unaltered through a vacuum. The new method could be used to improve the timing of communications signals and to investigate the propagation of quantum correlations.