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'Multiplying' Light Could Be Key to Ultra-Powerful Optical Computers

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light pulses inside an optical computer, illustration

Credit: Gleb Berloff / Hills Road Sixth Form College

Researchers at the U.K.'s University of Cambridge and Russia's Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) have proposed a new optical computing method for solving highly complex problems, by reducing light signals while simplifying the search for optimal mathematical solutions. The technique combines light waves by multiplying the wave functions describing the waves rather than adding them.

The team demonstrated that tiny light pulses or blobs of coherent, superfast-moving polaritons can be generated in space and nonlinearly overlap with each another, due to their matter component.

"If you get the coupling and light intensity right, the light multiplies, affecting the phases of the individual pulses, giving away the answer to the problem," said Skoltech's Ph.D. student Nikita Stroev.

The team has also deployed a technique to guide optical system trajectories toward the solution by temporarily modifying the coupling strengths of the signals.

From University of Cambridge
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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