BOSTON (Wired News) - Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been attempting to freeze light particles in the laboratory for the past five years. But cross-town rival Harvard accidentally beat them to it over the weekend.
Nils Chu, part-time ice resurfacer for the Harvard men's hockey team, was servicing the Zamboni on Sunday at the Bright Hockey Center in Cambridge. By some fluke of physics he achieved a temperature near Absolute Zero as he kneeled to investigate an obstruction with a flashlight and then sneezed. The resulting frozen cube of light was confirmed by experts at MIT's Center for Ultracold Atoms.
"Apparently Nils' proximity to the machine and to the ice perfectly matched the conditions necessary to freeze light," said a rival spokesperson. "We have been close for months but were unsuccessful in our attempts."
Nils intends to patent his method of extracting warmth from visible light and plans to sell the substance, known as "coolth", to the highest bidder.