Mega journal places UP paper on slowing down light in top 100

Dr. Nathaniel Hermosa and Nestor Bareza. Photos from the National Institute of Physics website

Mega journal Scientific Reports named the paper of UP Diliman scientists, which showed that light could be slowed down, one of its 100 most-read articles in 2016.

While modern physics tells us that the speed of light remains the same in a vacuum, physicists around the world have been exploring the possibility that it is not so.

In “Subluminal Group Velocity and Dispersion of Laguerre Gauss Beams in Free Space,” Dr. Nathaniel Hermosa and Nestor Bareza of the National Institute of Physics theoretically proved that the speed of light could be changed by letting light “twist” as it travels through space. By doing so, they were able to make light move more slowly without touching it.

The research is a step toward improved data transmission in computing technologies and telecommunications.

The article of Hermosa and Baresa, which received local and foreign media attention after it was released in May last year, has 41,483 views.

A position in the top 100 is “an extraordinary achievement — [the] science is of real value to the research community,” according to Scientific Reports. 

In 2016, Scientific Reports published more than 20,000 articles from all areas in the natural sciences. It is one of the largest journals in the world. 

Its latest impact factor is 5.228. The impact factor measures the impact of a journal by looking at how often its articles are cited in other publications.

Hermosa, a Balik PhD grant recipient, created the Structured Light Laboratory within the Photonics Research Laboratory to to study how different beams affect the speed of light.