With the exception of lasers and free-electron lasers, there hasn’t been another fundamental way to produce coherent light for close to 50 years.
This figure shows the emission of coherent light at 22 THz from a molecular dynamics simulation of shocked NaCl (table salt). The left panel shows the emission of the light as a function of time while the shock is propagating. The right panel shows the generated radiation as a function of location within the shocked crystal indicating the 22 THz coherent signal is generated at the shock front (between the white dotted lines).
But a group of researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found a new source of coherent optical radiation that is distinct from lasers and free-electron lasers.
Applications for this research are numerous, but the most immediate result may be a new diagnostic tool to determine the properties of shock waves, said Evan Reed, an E.O. Lawrence postdoctoral fellow at Lawrence Livermore and lead author of a paper that appears in the Jan. 13 edition of Physical Review Letters.
Anne Stark | EurekAlert!
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