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Light Acting Like a Liquid.


Image credit: Tatsunosuke Matsui, University of Utah

As if the wave-particle duality [wiki] isn't weird enough, physicists at the University of Utah discovered something else that is strange about light: it can act as a liquid!

Picture shining a flashlight at your kitchen colander. While some of the light from the flashlight will travel through its holes, the solid part of the colander will keep much of the light from shining through.

In contrast, experiments described in the March 28 issue of the journal Nature demonstrated that terahertz radiation—a low-frequency light on the electromagnetic spectrum located between microwaves and mid-infrared regions—traveled around a thin sheet of metal, through patterned holes, and all of it came out the other side. Experts sometimes refer to this radiation as T-rays.

"You can get 100 percent transmission of light, even if holes only make up 20 percent of the area," University of Utah physicist Ajay Nahata told LiveScience. Nahata is one of the experimenters.

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