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optical physics

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optical physics

Alchemy Arrives in a Burst of Light

September 30, 2020

Researchers have shown how to effectively transform one material into another using a finely shaped laser pulse.

Image of LIGO’s mirror.
Abstractions blog

To Make the Perfect Mirror, Physicists Confront the Mystery of Glass

April 2, 2020

Sometimes a mirror that reflects 99.9999% of light isn’t good enough.

Art for "Laser Physicists, Including Third Woman Ever, Win Physics Nobel"
Abstractions blog

Laser Physicists, Including Third Woman Ever, Win Physics Nobel

October 2, 2018

Three researchers shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for advances in laser physics. The winners include a woman for the first time in 55 years.

Inside this chamber, silica spheres probe for hidden extra dimensions, distortions of gravity, and dark-matter particles. | Peter DaSilva for Quanta Magazine
experimental physics

Tiny Tests Seek the Universe’s Big Mysteries

May 3, 2016

The search for exotic new physical phenomena is being led by huge experiments like the Large Hadron Collider. But at the other end of the spectrum lie tabletop experiments — small-scale probes of hidden dimensions, dark matter and dark energy.


Physicists Close In on ‘Perfect’ Optical Lens

August 8, 2013

Researchers are making progress toward a “perfect lens” that will be able to resolve an organelle assembling a protein or a virus attacking a cell.