Rotating cylinder puts a new spin on slow light

Issued: Fri, 13 Jan 2012 11:54:00 GMT

"Physicists in the UK and Canada claim to have demonstrated for the first time how a spinning medium can rotate a transmitted image. According to the researchers, the phenomenon could be used to encode images with extra data.

It has long been known that a moving medium can shift the position of passing light. The reason is that the light's photons can be absorbed by the medium's atoms, which jump into a higher energy state as a result. A moment later, these atoms return to their original state, re-emitting the photons. But by this time the atoms have moved slightly, so the photons continue their path from that new position."

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