I had heard about her results without knowing her name. Fascinating material. No, she did not create matter from light. Instead, she imprinted the information carried in light on a beam of matter and then transfered it again to a light beam. Potentially quite useful for quantum computers.<quoted text>
I'm gathering these info from different sources. So bear with me. But this time you explained it better. kudos.
It's really amazing how man have learned to create synthetic elements. For instance the plutonium was created in a lab before it was discovered to exist in nature. Have you heard of Lene Hau a professor at Harvard? Very interesting experiment she did with light. Although the articles about it are exaggerated claiming she changed light into matter. lol
The pair production that I was talking about is for much higher energy light. As the wavelength of the light decreases, the energy of each photon increases. Gamma rays have the shortest wavelengths and so the highest energies. X-rays are next down in energy, followed by ultraviolet, visible light, infrared, etc. it takes a high energy gamma ray to produce electron/positron pairs: almost a million times as much energy per photon as for visible light. To get more massive particles light pions or even protons, you have to increase the energy by another factor of a a thousand (approximately). This is associated with very high temperatures in the early universe.
Hau's work is on the other end of things: very low temperatures and very low energies.