Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Scientists Have Big Hopes For Tiny Lasers : NPR

Scientists Have Big Hopes For Tiny Lasers : NPR:

Researchers say they have built the world's smallest laser — one a thousand times smaller than what's available today. And today's lasers are already small enough to fit on a computer chip.

These new types of lasers open up all sorts of new possibilities for new technologies. And they break down the conventional wisdom about how small lasers can be.

"This is a nanopendulum, basically. It can be confined to almost any small place."

...those real applications could include future generations of computer storage. Today's lasers can burn a whole movie onto a DVD. And, Zhang says there's plenty of room for improvement.

"For example, you can use this to make a very high-density DVD recorder. You may be able to store an entire library on one disk."

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