News of the WeekSOLID STATE PHYSICS

Rubbery Liquid Crystal Gives Lasers a Stretch

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Science  25 May 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5521, pp. 1468-1469
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5521.1468b

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Summary

Artificial rubber with the light-altering properties of a liquid crystal has been turned into a new type of laser--one that emits light without mirrors or a cavity and that changes its wavelength when pulled like taffy. Researchers call the work a significant step that might lead to the development of a low-cost, tunable laser.