Putting the pressure on light

Scientists design a way to determine the speed of light in composite materials

4:01pm, July 30, 2009

Light’s speed slows in plywood, clouds, bones and other composite materials, but measuring by how much it slows has been a difficult task. Now scientists have found a way to determine the speed of light in such a material by varying its pressure, according to a report to appear in an upcoming Physical Review Letters.

“It’s a very compelling and exciting piece of work,” says physicist Allard Mosk of the University of Twente in the Netherlands.

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