Science has been trying for decades to unravel and explain the Universe’s darkest secrets, from its birth, to its expansion. Recent news in the field of physics shook the world, as researchers seem to be getting closer and closer to achieve the miracle they all have been waiting for: turning light into matter.
Three physicists from the Imperial College of London found a method to actually create matter out of light by using the technological means we have today, thus proving an 80 years old theory. In order to better understand what this is all about, let’s take a walk down the history lane:
In 1934, Gregory Breit and John Wheeler theorised that, if you smashed two photons — light particles — together at high speed, the collision would create an electron and a positron (its antimatter equivalent). Breit and Wheeler never thought that their theory, simple though it was, could be proven. It is a rare occurrence that is difficult to reproduce, and has never been observed in a laboratory setting.
The article published by the British scientists in Nature Photonics describes a way in which physicists can finally prove the Breit – Wheeler theory. They aim to build a photon – photon collider which, according to the sources,
would convert light directly into matter using technology that is already available, would be a new type of high-energy physics experiment. This experiment would recreate a process that was important in the first 100 seconds of the universe and that is also seen in gamma ray bursts, which are the biggest explosions in the universe and one of physics’ greatest unsolved mysteries.
Creating something out of nothing is no longer the exclusive skill of people living in the Star – Trek futuristic time. The photon – photon collider might give us a new understanding not only upon the mysteries of the Universe, but it might completely change the ways we understand and use nuclear physics.
The race to carry out and complete the experiment is on!