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Dutch Universities Stop Light (Huge potential for PV Cells)

Discussion in 'Photovoltaics' started by Alex, Aug 14, 2004.

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  1. Alex

    Alex Guest

    From the NOS website:

    Dutch Researchers Manage To Influence The Creation Of Light

    Dutch scientists have managed to influence the creation of light. For
    17 years scientists have thought it possible.

    The researchers found a way to temporarily postpone the creation of light.
    After that, light can be released at a slower or increased speed. This
    has several advantages. Delaying the creation of light can be of importance
    for photovoltaic cells. At this time, only 15% of all light that hits the cell
    can be turned into energy. When light creation can be slowed, there
    is more time to turn it into electric current. The discovery could be of
    great imporance in the search for renewable energy.

    Visit the COPS (Complex Photonic Systems) website, at:


    Nederlands onderzoekers slagen erin om ontstaan licht te beïnvloeden

    Nederlandse wetenschappers zijn er in geslaagd om het ontstaan van
    licht te beïnvloeden. Al 17 jaar dachten wetenschappers dat dat
    mogelijk is. Honderden onderzoeksteams hebben wereldwijd
    gezocht naar een manier om dat voor elkaar te krijgen. Nu is
    het een groep wetenschappers van de universiteiten van Utrecht
    en Twente gelukt.

    De onderzoekers kunnen het ontstaan van licht tijdelijk uitstellen.
    Daarna kunnen ze het vertraagd of versneld loslaten. Dat heeft
    enkele voordelen. Vertragen kan bijvoorbeeld van belang zijn
    voor zonnecellen. Die zetten nu maar zo'n 15 procent van het
    licht dat ze ontvangen om in energie. Als het proces van het
    ontstaan van licht kan worden vertraagd, blijft er meer tijd
    over om dat licht om te zetten in elektrische stroom. De
    vinding kan een grote doorbraak zijn in de zoektocht naar
  2. Alex

    Alex Guest

    From Nature:

    When you flip a light switch, a steady stream of photons is emitted
    by millions of atoms inside a light bulb. All atoms emit light at random
    instants in time, just like rain drops ticking on a roof.

    A team of researchers from the Netherlands has succeeded in
    controlling the pace of light emission, varying from a light drizzle
    to a rainstorm. In the process, the team has verified a 17-year
    old prediction of American physicist Eli Yablonovitch that ignited
    a world-wide rush to build tiny "chips" that control light beams.

    Figure 1. Cartoon of an atom emitting a photon

    The achievement of Dr. Lodahl and a team of physicists and chemists
    is being reported on August 5 in the journal Nature. Researchers say
    it has many potential uses, not only as a tool for controlling quantum
    optical systems, but also in efficient miniature lasers for displays and
    telecom, in solar cells, and even in future quantum computers.

    Elementary quantum mechanics (notably developed by Niels Bohr and
    Albert Einstein) says that an atom in a state of high energy returns to its
    low energy state after a random time. The average time of emission is
    called the lifetime. In the process, the atom emits energy in the form of
    a photon, or a light particle (see Fig. 1). This is how the sun emits light,
    thereby permitting life on earth.

    Controlling the emission of light is one of the main goals in science and
    technology. How can atoms be manipulated such that you can have
    them emit light when you want?

    READ MORE, AT...
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