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A smart gas that manipulates light.

A smart glass that manipulates light

By carefully fusing multiple layers of glass, each of which bends light slightly more or less than adjacent layers, scientists at Isotec Ltd. in Tucson, Ariz., have made specialty glasses that guide light beams along specific, even winding, courses the way wires guide electricity. These "gradient refractive index" (GRIN) materials could serve in emerging technologies such as optical computers and photonic circuitry, suggests Richard Blankenbecler, a physicist at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, who also is a consultant for Isotec. Photonic devices resemble electronic devices, but work by manipulating photons and light beams instead of electrons and currents. Company spokesman Paul Dempewolf says the Isotec process costs less, takes less time and produces a wider range of light-piping glasses than existing techniques for making GRIN materials.
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Title Annotation:used in specialty glasses to guide light beams
Publication:Science News
Date:Sep 1, 1990
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