• The findings are reported in a paper in the journal Physical Review Letters, co-authored by MIT physics professor Marin Soljačić; postdocs Bo Zhen, Chia Wei Hsu, and Ling Lu; and Douglas Stone, a professor of applied physics at Yale University
  • Light can usually be confined only with mirrors, or with specialized materials such as photonic crystals. Both of these approaches block light beams; last year’s finding demonstrated a new method in which the waves cancel out their own radiation fields
  • The new work shows that this light-trapping process, which involves twisting the polarization direction of the light, is based on a kind of vortex—the same phenomenon behind everything from tornadoes to water swirling down a drain

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