Scientists in Israel have developed the world’s first “water-wave laser,” proof light and water waves can combine to generate laser radiation.
Laser radiation is produced when electrons in atoms are excited by an external source, in this case, a combination of frequencies from light and water oscillations.
Until now, scientists thought the frequency difference between water waves and light waves would diminish the energy transfer necessary to generate laser emissions. Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology skirted the drawback using an optical fiber to deliver high-frequency light waves through a tiny droplet of octane and water.
The light and water waves intersect more than a million times inside the droplet, producing the energy necessary to trigger a water-wave laser.
Ultimately, the technology could be used to create tiny sensors for the study of cell biology or to test new drugs. For now, scientists can use the laser to study light-fluid interactions at nanoscale.