Because of quantum mechanics, the chopping of photons is a fuzzy endeavor.
January 1, 1927 | Vol. 11 | No. 299
Three-inch pieces of light
A method of cutting off three-inch pieces from a beam of light, like a meat cutter slicing a bologna sausage, though the light moves at 186,000 miles a second, is described by Dr. Ernest O. Lawrence and Dr. J. W. Beams of Yale University.
Though light travels so fast that it can encircle the earth seven times in a second, the two physicists made use of a shutter that turned the light on and off with such rapidity that each “piece” of light was only about three inches in length. Each flash lasted a hundred billionth of a second.