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Light Has Been Stored as Sound For The First Time........could lead to super-fast computers

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by CAPSLOCKSTUCK, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. CAPSLOCKSTUCK

    CAPSLOCKSTUCK Spaced Out Lunar Tick

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    n a world first, scientists have stored light-based data as sound waves on a computer chip - a feat they compare to 'capturing lightning as thunder'.

    Storing light as sound has been pursued by large companies such as IBM and Intel for years, but until now has never been achieved.

    The researchers hope their breakthrough could lead to the creation of computers in which data can safely travel at the speed of light.


    Researchers from the University of Sydney demonstrated the technological breakthrough in a new study, published in Nature Communications.

    Transferring information from light to sound and back again inside a microchip is critical for the development of photonic integrated circuits – microchips that use light to manage data.

    These chips are being developed for use in telecommunications, optical fibre networks and cloud computing data centres where traditional electronic devices are susceptible to electromagnetic interference, produce too much heat or use too much energy.

    Dr Birgit Stiller, supervisor of the project, said: 'The information in our chip in acoustic form travels at a velocity five orders of magnitude slower than in the optical domain.

    THE MICROCHIP
    The researchers' chip is made of chalcogenide glass, which provides optimal guidance of both optical and acoustic waves.

    The chip operates at room temperature and can be used with other computer components, which means it can be easily integrated into photonic circuits.

    While light is an excellent carrier of data, its speed can become a nuisance inside computers.

    To help overcome this issue, the researchers created an 'acoustic buffer' within the microchip, in which light was temporarily converted into sound.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=zCdviPEhsyY




    https://www.sciencealert.com/breaking-light-was-just-stored-as-sound-for-the-first-time-ever
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
    Ahhzz, dorsetknob, remixedcat and 3 others say thanks.
  2. Papahyooie

    Papahyooie

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    I'm confused by this statement. Don't all electrons travel at the speed of light? (through whatever the given medium is of course.) So, by definition, doesn't all data in a computer travel at the speed of light? What hindrance are they referring to?
     
  3. remixedcat

    remixedcat

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    wonder what a pic of food would sound like? haha
     
  4. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1 The Exiled Airman

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    Considering light is a modulation signal for intelligence
     
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  5. RejZoR

    RejZoR

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    Why do I have a feeling we won't have only coil whine from then on :p
     
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  6. Vya Domus

    Vya Domus

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    Electrons do travel at the speed of light but they "bumb" into other particles inside of materials hence they reach their destination slower. Data most definitely does not travel at the speed of light in any computer system.
     
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  7. Papahyooie

    Papahyooie

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    Well right. That's why I said "through whatever the given medium is of course." The speed of light in a vacuum is faster than the speed of light through water, copper, whatever. I realize that electrons travel slower through different media. I'm just wondering how exactly "storing light as sound" would increase said speed. I'm not saying it isn't an accomplishment... far from it, I think it's amazing. I'm just wondering by what mechanism it could "lead to the creation of computers in which data can safely travel at the speed of light.

    EDIT: After reading it again, I realize that they are actually doing this to SLOW DOWN said particles. They're very briefly turning light into sound, then back to light. I suppose that's where the "safely" part comes in in the above statement. Makes much more sense now.
     

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