Documenting the Coming Singularity

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

You don't have to dig to China - 'Hidden photons' to send secret emails through Earth

New Scientist - April 24, 2009, by Jon Cartwright

IF YOU shine a laser on the floor, where does the light go? With the right preparation, some of it might pop out at the other side of the world - an effect that could be exploited to transmit secret messages through the ground.

That is the conclusion of Andreas Ringwald at the German Electron Synchrotron (DESY) in Hamburg, and colleagues, who have explored the possibility of hypothetical particles called "hidden photons" ( "If such particles exist, then we can use them to communicate," says Ringwald. "It's very simple."

Hidden photons are a class of particles predicted by so-called supersymmetric extensions to the standard model of particle physics. Unlike normal photons, hidden photons could have a tiny mass and would be invisible because they would not interact with the charged particles in conventional matter. This means hidden photons would flit through even the densest materials unaffected.

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