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Jun 4, 2019

Experiments underway to turn light into matter

Posted by in category: particle physics

In laser facilities in the UK, Imperial physicists are testing an 84-year-old theory which was once thought impossible to prove.

The theory of the Breit-Wheeler process says it should be possible to turn into matter by smashing two particles of light (photons) together to create an electron and a positron. However, past attempts to do this have required the addition of other high-energy particles.

Physicists from Imperial College London, led by Professor Steven Rose, came up with a way of testing the theory that did not rely on these added extras in 2014, and today an experiment is running in the hope of turning light directly into matter for the first time.

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