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Shark Science Technology

Building New Materials With Light 27

Posted by Soulskill
from the when-all-you-have-is-a-lighthammer,-everything-looks-like-a-lightnail dept.
ckwu writes "Since the 1970s, physicists have used laser beams to trap and study small objects, from cells down to individual atoms. Now, electrical engineers at the University of Southern California have developed a simple optical system that assembles hundreds of nanoparticles into two-dimensional structures using a single laser beam and a silicon photonic crystal. This compact optical trap fits on a small chip and could eventually help researchers make materials for new types of sensors, optical devices, and chemical filters."
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Building New Materials With Light

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  • Oh Boy! When can I buy one and make an AR-15?
  • by Bobfrankly1 (1043848) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @06:58PM (#43605049)
    Of course the first thing to be made out of light would be bridges...
    • As in Jeff Bridges in TRON? That's what this laser beam thing reminds me of. (but you probably mean the bifrost from Thor)
      • As in Jeff Bridges in TRON? That's what this laser beam thing reminds me of. (but you probably mean the bifrost from Thor)

        Note the subject. Light bridges are a common occurrence in many sci-fi/futuristic games.

  • Oh geez (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @07:10PM (#43605159)
    One dimension away from being a 3D printing story. What's happening Slashdot?
  • by mbstone (457308) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @07:11PM (#43605163)

    Structures made of light are less sturdy than those made of straw, or bricks, nevertheless they are immune to being blown down with mere huffing and puffing.

    • You left out houses made of "sticks" [there were three little pigs], but otherwise, your analysis is spot-on! But even if they're immune from being blown down, I don't think they'd do a good job of stopping the wolf from getting in.
      .
      Wait, I retract that. If the light is of a high enough intensity, it'd be life a force-field with enough power to burn or vaporize or plasma-ize anything that tries to come in contact with it. Yes, this mysterious 4th pigs "House of Light" would be impervious to the wolf!
      • You left out houses made of "sticks" [there were three little pigs], but otherwise, your analysis is spot-on! But even if they're immune from being blown down, I don't think they'd do a good job of stopping the wolf from getting in. . Wait, I retract that. If the light is of a high enough intensity, it'd be life a force-field with enough power to burn or vaporize or plasma-ize anything that tries to come in contact with it. Yes, this mysterious 4th pigs "House of Light" would be impervious to the wolf!

        What you don't know is that aliens are all around us and that stars are really just what you described the mysterious fourth pigs house as being...just with aliens inside.

  • Anyone else reminded of Total Annihilation when they read this?
  • On my orders: Engage Tractor Beam NOW! :)
  • Boston: If they can make bridges out of light, you have to wonder if they can make anything else.
    Maggie: You mean...Light beer?
    Boston: I was thinking more of a light house.

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