A new property of light has been discovered: self-torque

It turns out light can not only be twisted, but at different speeds.

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  • An unsuspected property of light, called "self-torque," had just been discovered.
  • The discovery will allow scientists to control the behavior of light in a new way.
  • The potential applications are still being worked out, but look very exciting.
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Lasers could cut lifespan of nuclear waste from "a million years to 30 minutes," says Nobel laureate

Physicist plans to karate-chop them with super-fast blasts of light.

(Oleksiy Mark/Borys Magierowski/Shutterstock/Big Think)
  • Gérard Mourou has already won a Nobel for his work with fast laser pulses.
  • If he gets pulses 10,000 times faster, he says he can modify waste on an atomic level.
  • If no solution is found, we're already stuck with some 22,000 cubic meters of long-lasting hazardous waste.
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