real technology inspired by what was seen in a TV show/movie, like cell phones (Star Trek) and bionic limbs (Six Million Dollar Man), simple lighting using soda bottles placed in roofs in poor communities (MacGyver/simple, cheap and effective tools made from unrelated objects already around you) or lightsabers (Star Wars).
While a team of physicists was attempting to find new ways to deliver quantum information, they found that when more than one photon was fired through a cloud of rubidium in a chamber cooled by lasers to just a few degrees above absolute zero, the photons teamed up and started interacting and behaving in a surprising and unexpected manner. They discovered a way to bind photons together in order to form a new molecule, which behaves similarly to the lightsaber. It was an unintentional discovery and actually a "startrekked" by-product of these experiments. Otherwise, how would they have known the by-product was a lightsaber? The report gives no indication that the scientists will be using the discovery to create real-life lightsabers, but understanding the physics is the first step to that ever happening.
by tocoinaterm October 02, 2013