Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Photon Switch On Leading Edge Of More Powerful Computers

Date:
November 23, 2001
Source:
University Of Toronto
Summary:
Researchers at the University of Toronto have discovered a "switch" involving the manipulation of a photon that may lead to the creation of an optical transistor and usher in a new era of more powerful computers.

Researchers at the University of Toronto have discovered a "switch" involving the manipulation of a photon that may lead to the creation of an optical transistor and usher in a new era of more powerful computers.

"This switch allows a photon - the smallest unit of light -- to influence the flow of other photons in the same way that transistors inside a PC control the flow of electrons," says Aephraim Steinberg, physics professor and co-author of a paper published in Physical Review Letters this fall. "It will be necessary if future generations of computers become reliant on photons instead of electrons."

Steinberg, along with PhD students Kevin Resch and Jeff Lundeen, discovered the switch when they shone one strong beam and two weak beams of light on a special optical crystal. When two photons -- one from each weak beam -- approached the crystal simultaneously, they collided and prevented each other from passing through, thereby switching each other off. When a single photon shot out from only one beam without another photon to switch it off, it passed through the crystal unimpeded. "This allows us to manipulate photons so they can transmit data in a computer - a task that was previously almost impossible," Resch says.

"By using a switch to manipulate photons, optical transistors can be created which could pave the way to a new generation of quantum computers and solve problems that traditional computers would have difficulty with," Resch says, including database searches and the ability to crack codes on the Internet. "This switch might serve as the fundamental basis needed to turn quantum computing into a reality," Steinberg adds.

The study was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and Photonics Research Ontario.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Toronto. "Photon Switch On Leading Edge Of More Powerful Computers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 November 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011120045133.htm>.
University Of Toronto. (2001, November 23). Photon Switch On Leading Edge Of More Powerful Computers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011120045133.htm
University Of Toronto. "Photon Switch On Leading Edge Of More Powerful Computers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011120045133.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins