Super Laser Approaches Light Speed, Acts like Black Holes

It’s only a matter of time and then we’re all DOOMED, DOOMED I say!  Ok, never mind the hyperbole, but this news about a new, powerful laser that produces the same effect as black holes is still pretty cool.  Also, we’re doomed (insert smiley emoticon here).

‘Ultra-intense laser’ stops electrons travelling at near-light speed for first time, mimicking black holes


Using a laser beam one quadrillion times brighter than the Sun, physicists have stopped electrons travelling at near-light speeds for the first time.

The experiment produced a quantum mechanical phenomenon that was previously only thought to occur around black holes and quasars.

This effect is termed a “radiation reaction”, and measuring how it works in a lab allows scientists to understand the processes taking place around distant astronomical bodies.

Electrons are the negatively charged particles in atoms. Their movement powers electrical devices, and they can also be manipulated to form beams.

…..The results were published in the journal Physical Review X.

“One thing I always find so fascinating about this is that the electrons are stopped as effectively by this sheet of light, a fraction of a hair’s breadth thick, as by something like a millimetre of lead,” said Professor Alec Thomas, a physicist at  Lancaster University who participated in the research.

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