The results of an experiment creating the brightest light ever produced on Earth has been published. The light’s intensity shines as bright as a billion of our Suns. The lead researcher on the project, Donald Umstadter, shed some light on the basics revolving around the electrodynamics realm.
Umstadter revealed that there have been various theories that have never been scrutinized in the laboratory, adding that there was no light source that was bright enough to do the experiment. However, he confirmed that his team had managed to confirm various predictions for what was bound to happen.
The physicists, from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, used the DIOCLES laser, one of the most powerful lasers in the US, to create the ultra-bright light. The laser was fired at helium-suspended electrons to see how the photons scatter from a single electron each time it's struck.
In typical light conditions, photon scattering makes vision possible, but electrons usually only scatter one photon at a time. Previous laser experiments have scatted a couple of photons from the same electron – but this new experiment scattered nearly 1,000 photons at once. The scattering ended up changing objects appearances.
Umstadter revealed that in the presence of the unimaginably bright light, it turns out that the scattering fundamentally changes in nature. Scattering makes everything visible. Instead of a photon scattering at the same angle and energy before and after it hit the electron, which it would from a normal light source, the super bright laser altered that angle and energy.
Umstadter insinuated that things appear differently as you turn up the brightness of the light, which is not something you normally would experience. In a typical situation, an object normally becomes brighter, but otherwise, it looks just like it did with a lower light level. That is not the case with this bright light as Umstadter indicates that the light changes the objects appearance.
If an electron is hit with the bright laser beam, it actually ejects its own photon. This single photon carries with it the combined energy of all of the photons that smacked into that electron, giving the photon the equivalent energy and wavelength of an X-ray.
The team is hoping that these special X-ray photons could be used to hunt for tumours that current X-rays are not able to see, create an ultrafast camera to snap electron motions and chemical reactions, or just create 3D images of nanoscopic objects.