Hardlight, also called Photonic Matter is a solid and durable mass of photons which are trapped in a nonlinear medium. Most often, hardlight exists in the form of solid and thin plates, which hold a massive amount of capabilities and uses. Hardlight is produced by shooting numerous weak beams of photons through dense rubidium gas near absolute zero. With time, energy, and resources, hardlight may be produced at a practical rate, which allows for military application and everyday use for citizens. It is known however, that hardlight is very expensive for consumer use as of the present year.
After hardlight is made, it is shown to hold extreme properties. With the correct procedures, hardlight may be formed into "solid" objects which have a thickness equal to the wavelength of the light. While incredibly thin, usually on the order of several hundred nanometers, hardlight is not brittle in the slightest. It is shown to have numerous defensive capabilities, withstand temperature extremes, and absorb extreme blunt force without breaking.
With usage in militaries, hardlight has been noted to be one of the sharpest, toughest, and hardest materials if procured properly. It has made the idea of close quarter melee combat relevant again since its creation. Hardlight may also be used for personal defense, in the form of shields or armor. Spacecraft, especially those of high value, may also have hardlight components which are able to defend parts of craft. Highly cherished buildings, constructs, and complex engineering works may also utilize hardlight as a support structure, or as protection.
Hardlight, which is not only expensive to create, requires a large amount of upkeep. In order to maintain the integrity of the material, it must constantly receive an appropriate level of energy from a suitable battery. Without maintenance, hardlight will begin to decay rapidly over time. This means that any sort of device using hardlight must be regularly maintained, or else risk failure. It is known that wielders of Thaumaturgy are able to permanently power hardlight objects, by constantly taking energy through any medium and converting it into usable power.
Hardlight is also very volatile, as it is not limited to the visible light spectrum. Typically, Hardlight is created with blue light, being 450 and 495 nm in length. It is not uniform either, as Hardlight is known to emit all sorts of electromagnetic radiation. Successful attempts at making other kinds of Hardlight have been made. Practical kinds of Hardlight include anything from the infrared to gamma spectrum. Each form has their own benefits and drawbacks, with longer frequencies being easier to make while having diminished properties. Infrared Hardlight for examples is cooler and more brittle. Visible Hardlight is noted to be a balance between cost effectiveness and practicality. Frequencies above have higher temperatures and increased strength, though they are much more difficult to make than regular Hardlight. The most sophisticated kind of Hardlight ever manufactured is gamma-wave Hardlight. It holds the highest temperatures and has increased properties, being almost impossible to break by known means. While it is thought to be above Eidolite, gamma-wave Hardlight has not been tested extensively.
Hardlight may not necessarily be solid, as may be used for creation of soft materials and sorts of fluids. It is known that most forms of matter are able to be mimicked by hardlight with modern methods. Hardlight may also be made into holograms, including sapient beings in said holograms. In more eccentric cases, Hardlight may also be made into edible, nutritious material safe for casual consumption. The most common types of non-conventional Hardlight are ones which make holograms, semi-solids, and liquids. Non-conventional Hardlight is notably harder to make than truly solid Hardlight as well, making them rare and prized in some cases.
Hardlight has held many appearances in history, with many appearances of hardlight occurring in warfare. Widely used since the War of the Final Transition, hardlight has since expanded from a novelty to a casual weapon of war. Most uses were documented in Aylothn's Totality, with Sedruan technology displaying a liking to hardlight. It has also seen major use in the War of the Ancients, through The Vault's Incident and by many forms of weaponry of the Quintet Puontari Federation. Currently, Eidolite is slightly more valued over regular hardlight for advanced military applications, though its difficulty of production still makes hardlight the most popular technology for what it covers. High energy Hardlight also compete with Eidolite.