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IBM slows light
#1
Quote:IBM slows light, readies it for networking
By Michael Kanellos, CNET News.com
Published on ZDNet News: November 2, 2005, 10:39 AM PT


IBM has created a chip that can slow down light, the latest advance in an industrywide effort to develop computers that will use only a fraction of the energy of today's machines.

The chip, called a photonic silicon waveguide, is a piece of silicon dotted with arrays of tiny holes. Scattered systematically by the holes, light shown on the chip slows down to 1/300th of its ordinary speed of 186,000 miles per second. In a computer system, slower light pulses could carry data rapidly, but in an orderly fashion. The light can be further slowed by applying an electric field to the waveguide.

Researchers at Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley, have slowed light in laboratories. IBM, though, claims that its light-slowing device is the first to be fashioned out of fairly standard materials, potentially paving the way toward commercial adoption.
A number of companies and university researchers are currently tinkering with ways to replace the electronic components inside computers, which ferry signals with electrons, with optical technology. Optical equipment ferries data on photons, the smallest measure of light. Photons are far faster. More important, optical equipment generates less heat, curbing the growing problem of heat and power consumption.

The catch, however, is that until recently, creating optical components has been more of an art than a science. The components cost a lot to make and can't be cranked out in the millions like silicon chips. Another factor: Optical parts are typically big, unlike silicon chips, which measure only a few millimeters on a side.

Progress in blending the best of both technologies is advancing rapidly, however. Intel has demonstrated a Raman laser fashioned from silicon. Intel and start-up Luxtera have shown off silicon modulators, which chop up the light from a laser so that it can represent data.

IBM's silicon waveguide, as the name suggests, would channel light pulses created by the laser and modulator.

When the optical conversion might start to occur is a matter of speculation. Luxtera has said it will start to commercially produce products in 2007. The computer industry, however, tends to move slowly when it comes to major overhauls of computer architecture. Several components will have to be developed before photos can replace electrons inside computers.

A paper providing details on the chip will run in Nature on Wednesday.

next step is a computer that thinks faster than a human brain for around $400, then scanning the human conscience onto that machine and your on your way to online immortality...
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#2
Many material mediums--such as water--slow the speed of light. The familiar speed of light, approx. 186,000 miles per second, is actually true only of the speed of light in a vacuum. When a neutron source fires its neutrons through water, they force their way through faster than the speed of light in water,. This creates a bluish light called Cherenkov radiation. If a way could be found to force something to travel through the vacuum of space faster than the speed of light in a vacuum, presumably this would also produce the blue glow of Cherenkov radiation.

However, it does sound like IBM has found a way to slow down the speed of light drastically, if it is really only 1/300th of normal.
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#3
Is the definition correct, or are we discussing the interval of light measurement as it deflects and reflects through various media? - The time for light to go from point A to point B to point C?

As I always explained to batters when I was a catcher in Legion baseball, no objects (like the baseball) can exceed the speed of light (the Universal constant), but adding extra energy to an object just under the speed of Light becomes converted to mass, and the baseball gets bigger and easier to hit the faster it goes. It's like when a train approaching you goes:"E-e-e-e-e-e-e-e..." and then as it passes it goes: "O-h-h-h-h-h-h." Doppler shift. The sound moves at the same speed, but you gotta add the relative approaching speed, and decrease the relative departing speed. It is the measurement system at the point of view that alters, neh?

I also thought one of the definitions of tachyons is their ability to influence gravity instantaneously.
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#4
are tachyons real? i always thought they were a myth...

looks like its gonna be a long night.
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#5
Wm, you actually told your baseball team that the faster a pitcher throws the ball, the bigger the ball becomes? That's hilarious. Was anyone comforted and encouraged by that? Of course, not only does the ball become "bigger," it also becomes more massive--so it would be more likely to break your bat. And whatever you do, don't let yourself get hit by the ball!

Now, if the pitcher could throw the ball fast enough, it would reach the catcher's mitt before it left the pitcher's hand--meaning the batter could never hit it, since the ball would not really pass by him at all. It would be like teleportation. I just wonder what we would tell the umpire, to get him to call the strike.
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#6
if the dimnensions of Home Plate intersected the ball at any point in time, it would be a Steeeerike. if the ball were to "travel" outside the boundaries of the plate, it would be a Ball. if Homeplate were subject to the theory of Super String, then both the plate and the ball would flicker through infinite paths and at least some of them would be considered a Strike, while others would count as Balls. but why pitch at all when you can simply jump to the games where you won?
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#7
Now you've got the idea... Then after the batter is considering which alternative reality he is participating in, I would begin to recite Casey at the Bat. If I was really in good form, the batter would strike out just as I got to, "But there is no joy in Mudville?mighty Casey has struck out."
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#8
My brother is not kidding as much as some of you might think. If you ever attended any of the games where he was catcher, you would have heard unending, brain-warping chatter along the line of what he has posted here. (He really did recite "Casey at the Bat" a number of times.) More than one batter would trudge away from the plate dragging his bat, not only struck out, but bemused and wiped out mentally. Some batters would whine to the umpire, "Please--make him stop!"
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#9
S14 Now imagine if the world was like that.:I
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