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  • I am in the middle of a huge dilemma, I really don't like jellyfish, they freak me out,

  • but I love lasersthey're so cool!

  • And this new science is making lasers with jellyfish!?

  • AHHH!!

  • Hey photonic reflectors, Trace here for DNews.

  • When lasers were first invented, they were called “a solution looking for a problem.”

  • In the decades since then, we've found a number of ways to make lasers useful.

  • Barcode scanners, industrial cutting, surgeries, pointing at things... you name it!

  • Now, physicists and bioengineers are collaborating to help us make new, even more specialized

  • lasersthanks to proteins from jellyfish.

  • But first... lasers were theorized in 1917 in a paper by Einstein, and first accomplished

  • in 1960 by T.H.

  • Maiman.

  • LASER is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

  • Lasers make light, but not like regular light bulbs.

  • In a regular lightbulb, electrons are pushed through a filament, causing them to get excited.

  • That excitement causes them to throw little photons of light and heat energy every which

  • way!

  • It's chaos!

  • Lasers are far more precise

  • A laser takes the same principle of emitting light, but instead of going every which way,

  • it's an organized, tightly packed, beam of photons.

  • This organization requires specific substances to emit their photons in a specific way so

  • the photons are monochromatic, coherent and directional!

  • Put simply, a lightbulb is a running herd of people, but a laser is a marching army.

  • Different substances produce different wavelengths of light, and different types of lasers are

  • good for different things.

  • Red laser light can be used in sensors, spectrometers and CD-players and can be made by exciting

  • a helium-neon gas or garnet.

  • Blue or violet lasers can be used for data storage applications (it's what's in a

  • blu-ray player) and in medical and and are made by exciting gallium nitride

  • But I digress.

  • One of the most advanced laser types yet invented is a polariton laser.

  • It's created by exciting the atoms of a supercooled Bose-Einstein condensate (a crazy

  • state of matter) to create half-matter, half-light quasiparticles...

  • Yeah.

  • It's pretty insane science, and not the easiest thing to do.

  • These polariton lasers can be used in quantum physics, to tag cancer cells, or to make data

  • transfers faster, but they're so hard to make!

  • Supercooling ain't easy!

  • Which brings us back to jellyfish (shudder).

  • In 2011, scientists pulsed low energy light onto lab-grown cells containing a green fluorescent

  • protein (GFP) from the Aequorea victoria jellyfish.

  • By putting them into a mirrored chamber, the cells created an organized beam of monochromatic

  • photons!

  • Green laser light!

  • These were the first biological lasers!

  • Now in this new 2016 study, the researchers took that GFP and grew it on a bed of e.coli

  • bacteria -- creating enhanced GFP (eGFP) that glows way brighter.

  • // enhance *air typing* // they created a 500 nanometer-thin film of this eGFP, placed

  • it into a mirrored housingpulsed it with lightaaaaand!

  • VOILA!!

  • A polariton laser for quantum applications at room temperature!

  • No supercooling required!

  • Easy!

  • See, the reason they needed supercooled lasers in the first place was to keep the photons

  • from moving around too much -- super-cold particles behave better.

  • But, the jellyfish proteins are barrel-shaped, causing the photons to align perfectly.

  • It only makes green light, but the hunt is on for more glowing proteinscoral have

  • one that glows red

  • From jellyfish, to lasers, to bioengineering to quantum physics.

  • I'm jelly.

  • That's super cool.

  • We can't do DNews episodes without our sponsors.

  • Thanks to Graze for sponsoring this epsiodes.

  • Graze makes snacking exciting by combining wholesome ingredients with flavors we all

  • love to create over 100 nutritionist-approved snacks.

  • Go to graze.com and enter promo code DNEWS to get a free, sampler box delivered to your

  • home or work.

  • Of course, this new study is predicated on the fact that the jellyfish had glowing cells

  • in the first place!

  • If you're wondering why some animals glow, go watch this video.

  • And tell us in the comments if this science blew your mind a little bit, because it did

  • mine and please subscribe for more mindblowing science.

I am in the middle of a huge dilemma, I really don't like jellyfish, they freak me out,

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Jellyfish Lasers Are Revolutionizing Quantum Physics

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    joey joey posted on 2021/04/13
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