Yale Engineer’s Discovery Makes Top 100 List

Hong Tang, an electrical engineer in the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science, has earned a spot in Discover magazine’s Top 100 Stories of 2009 — which highlight “the 100 discoveries that are changing the world” — for his discovery of light’s ‘push’ power.

In a paper published last July, Tang and his team showed that beams of light can repel each other with a repulsive force that is similar to repulsive electric charges. The research builds on a previous discovery Tang made in 2008, when he found that light has an attractive force. Using these two forces to ‘push’ and ‘pull’ components on silicon microchips, Tang demonstrated the possibility that future nanodevices could be controlled by light rather than electricity. For instance, these light forces could make possible cell phones that use far less power but would be much faster than today’s conventional counterparts.

The ‘Top 100’ issue of Discover is available on newsstands now.

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Suzanne Taylor Muzzin: suzanne.taylormuzzin@yale.edu, 203-432-8555