Light manipulates particles to form a reflective surface
T.M. Grzegorczyk et al./Phys. Rev. Lett. 2014
A focused beam of green light has transformed 150 plastic beads into a functional mirror. The feat is the first step toward an ambitious goal: deploying lasers in space to assemble a cloud of dustlike particles into a giant telescope mirror.
“I think it’s really cool,” says Michael Burns, a laser physicist at Harvard’s Rowland Institute. “It demonstrates something that had only been discussed before.”