Creating matter from light is possible, and physicists have known about the theoretical conversion for years. Like nuclear power, the concept was first devised by Albert Einstein in his equation E=MC2. Just as a small quantity of matter can be converted into large amounts of energy, the opposite is also true. 

Researchers from the Imperial College of London believe they have developed a way to create small quantities of matter from light. 

In 1934, two physicists proposed a mechanism to create matter from energy. Their theory suggested smashing two particles of light, called photons, together. This process would create an electron (the outer, negatively-charged component of atoms), along with its antimatter companion, a positron. 

Electrons, traveling at near-light speeds, would collide with a gold block. This would create a flash of gamma rays -- photons of electromagnetic radiation billions of times more powerful than visible light. Physicists would then fire the lasers into a tiny "cup" of gold, called a hohlraum, which translates as "empty room" in German. This interaction will create energy, filling the cup. As photons collide, some should, theoretically, form electrons and positrons. 

"This 'photon-photon collider,' which would convert light directly into matter using technology that is already available, would be a new type of high-energy physics experiment," researchers wrote in a press release, announcing the findings. 

The process uses high-powered lasers to accelerate electrons to nearly the speed of light. 

"This experiment would recreate a process that was important in the first 100 seconds of the universe and that is also seen in gamma ray bursts, which are the biggest explosions in the universe and one of physics' greatest unsolved mysteries," investigators wrote in the statement. 

Matter created by the mechanism would be subatomic particles, much smaller than an atom. Using the newly discovered method would allow physicists to create matter from light using existing technology. 

Researchers hope this proof of the creation of matter from light, a process which was common during the first 100 seconds of the universe, may lead to a better understanding of both subatomic physics, and cosmology of the early universe. 

"Although the theory is conceptually simple, it has been very difficult to verify experimentally. We were able to develop the idea for the collider very quickly, but the experimental design we propose can be carried out with relative ease and with existing technology. The race to carry out and complete the experiment is on!" Oliver Pike, lead researcher of the theory, stated. 

Investigation of how light can be turned into energy was published in the journal Nature Photonic

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