As featured on PBS.org <link below>
Gold Plated Silicon brings us one step closer to computer that work on light (versus slower electric impulse).
Zero-index metamaterials allow what’s known as light’s “phase speed”—or how quickly it’s wave travels—to surge beyond the speed of light. And because the wave inside the metamaterial is infinitely long, when the phase of the source light changes, that change is instantaneously transmitted across the metamaterial. (To picture the difference between physical speed and phase speed, think about a wave in the ocean. The water molecules themselves don’t have to be moving to transmit a wave moving, say, 20 mph.)
Since computer chips operate in binary—a sequence of zeros and ones—it’s easy to imagine how a sequence of two phases of light could feed a hypothetical optical chip made with these metamaterials.
We won’t see light-based computers yet, as there are still several obstacles to address, but Mazur and his team have overcome a key challenge. “Usually, light needs to be handled very carefully and squeezed very slowly,” says Mazur. “With our material, you relax those constraints completely. You can bend the light, squeeze it, twist it.”
Link to Article : http://to.pbs.org/1H7KiWU