Researchers at Harvard have been able to isolate and control surface plasmons for the first time.

Light wakes are somewhat like the ripple a duck leaves behind in the water while swimming. They exist, and can be modeled on the surface of sheet metal.

In order to create wakes through light, a team of researchers led by Federico Capasso created a faster-than-light wave of charge to run across the material.

They found that the angle of the light can affect the direction of the wake, and even reverse the direction entirely.

Being able to control light on such a small scale is no small feat. Surface plasmons are invisible to the naked eye, yet developments such as this can lead to more advances in hologram technology.

Cover image: Wikipedia