Turns out, when a one millimeter square membrane of gallium arsenide is placed parallel to a mirror in a vacuum chamber and bombarded with a laser beam, an optical resonator is created between them that oscillates the membrane. As the distance between the gallium arsenide and the mirror changes, so do the membrane's oscillations. And, at a certain frequency, the membrane is cooled to minus 269 degrees Celsius -- despite the fact that the membrane itself is being heated by the laser. So, lasers can both heat things up and cool them down simultaneously, and if that confuses you as much as it does us, feel free to dig into the science behind this paradoxical bit of research at the source below. In other news, left is right, up is down, and Eli Manning is a beloved folk hero to all Bostonians.
Researchers use lasers to supercool semiconductor membranes, blow your mind originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 24 Jan 2012 12:22:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
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