Light, or visible electromagnetic radiation, is a fascinating and tricksy type of energy (not as tricksy as dark matter, but that’s another story and shall be told another time). It exists as photons (a type of particle) that resonates in a wide range of frequencies–which is why it is sometimes referred to as both a particle and a wave. While direction, wavelength, and polarity can very greatly (and in turn have a host of effects on life on Earth), its speed is constant, and the fastest in the known universe.
If you’ve read Lightbringer, some of this will at least sound familiar. Likewise, you’ll remember that the magic system in Lightbringer is light-based, wherein drafters can turn light into matter–specifically, a wondrous, spectacular substance called luxin.
But it’s all fantasy, right? Mined from the deep well of curiosity in Brent’s cerebrum?
Well, as it turns out….
I always thought physicists were the most badass among scientists.
The theory that drives these experiments is the Breit-Wheeler process. It’s not new; Gregory Breit and John A. Wheeler devised the theory in 1934. It’s kind of a riff on what is arguably the most famous (and perhaps famously misunderstood by the general population) equation discovered by the big guy himself, Einstein: E=mc². From the article: “The theory of the Breit-Wheeler process says it should be possible to turn light into matter by smashing two particles of light (photons) together to create an electron and a positron.”
So it’s not exactly sucking light in through your eyes and propelling solid matter out of your body. But a journey of 1,000 miles and all.