Physicists make discovery in the quantum realm by manipulating light: "In our experiment, we caught and released photons in and from a superconducting cavity by incorporating a superconducting switch," said Yin. "By controlling the switch on and off, we were able to open and close a door between the confined cavity and the road where photons can transmit. The on/off speed should be fast enough with a tuning time much shorter than the photon lifetime of the cavity." She explained that not only can the switch be in an on/off state, it also can be opened continuously, like a shutter. In that way, the research team was able to shape the released photons in different wave forms –– a key element for the next step they want to accomplish: controlled photon transfer between two distant cavities.