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A new kind of laser that powers up by freezing light in its tracks could lead to computers that run on photons instead of electrons.

Researchers already have ways to slow light down and even stop it completely for as long as a minute.

Now Ortwin Hess at Imperial College London and his colleagues say that this principle could be used to shrink lasers. Ordinary lasers work by bouncing light between two mirrors, so photons of a certain wavelength accumulate. But these devices can't be made very small. A stopped-light laser would be different, says Hess.

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