Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Super-Photons Used For Good, Not Evil

Super-photons may be able to provide a way to encode yet more information on CDs; more powerful computers and higher data security may also be possible. This is not your father's Thessian super-proton technology.

University of Toronto quantum optics researcher Morgan Mitchel has been entangling photons (light conceived of as small packets of energy). At the quantum level, a phenomenon called "entanglement" is observed, in which two or more particles become linked in such a way that any action that affects one affects all the others - no matter what the distance between them. This phenomenon can cause a set of multiple photons to behave as if they were one. Three photons could behave as a single photon, but with three times the energy.

"It looks like a super-photon," said Mitchell. "For this experiment, the hardest part was making them indistinguishable, which means not just putting them in the same location, but making sure they're there at the same time, that they are the same color, and going in the same direction. You have to guarantee all of these (aspects) at once."


(From Compact Disks and Digital Versatile Disks)

So how can a super-photon result in greater density of data storage? CDs store data in patterns of tiny pits about a half-micron wide. The problem with CDs is that the smallest size pit that can be used is dependent on the wavelength of light that is used to see it (the diffraction limit). By entangling photons, a super-photon with three times the energy can beat the diffraction limit, giving resolution that is three times better. Better resolution means that the pits can be smaller and closer together, resulting in more storage.

The science fiction reference to the Thessians comes from John W. Campbell's 1932 novel Invaders From The Infinite, in which the evil Thessians make use of a mysterious ray that effortlessly slices through the all but invulnerable cosmium shielding of ships. The scientist-heroes of the book offer the following analysis:

"It's a super-photon. What they do is use a field somewhat similar to the field we use in making cosmium, except that in theirs, instead of the photons lying side by side, they slide into one another, compounding. They evidently get three photons to go into one." (More)

See Super-Photons Could Make For Better Disc Media Players. (Thanks to Winchell Chung for the idea for this story.)

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/19/2004)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Engineering ")

Envisioning Starship Earth Travel - In 1930 By Max Valier
'Why must we travel ever faster in a seemingly insatiable desire to conquer space and time?' - Max Valier, 1930.

Liquid Lenses Adjust Automatically, Not Quite Dune Binoculars
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension... within a viewing tube...' - Frank Herbert, 1965.

The Dune Ornithopter, Movie And Book
'The wings were at full spread-rest, their delicate metal interleavings extended.' Frank Herbert, 1965.

Two Towns Linked By Sculpture Portal In Real Time
'I am the Guardian of Forever.' - Gene Roddenberry, 1967.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Envisioning Starship Earth Travel - In 1930 By Max Valier
'Why must we travel ever faster in a seemingly insatiable desire to conquer space and time?'

Man's Marriage To Hologram Ruined By Software Glitch
Till 'NETWORK ERROR' do us part.

Carbon Robotics: War Of The Worlds As A Metaphor For Weed Control
'It was as if some invisible jet impinged upon them and flashed into white flame.'

Pathways Language Model (PaLM) Is No Joke
'Electronic differentiation of the grotesque, as it says in the specifications - in man, a sense of humor.'

MOOSE: Man Out Of Space Easiest or Manned Orbital Operations Safety Equipment
'And as the ball bulleted downward on a screaming slant, it shrank!'

Liquid Lenses Adjust Automatically, Not Quite Dune Binoculars
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension... within a viewing tube...'

Your Martian Dream Home, Made By Fungi
'... it was the cheapest building material known.'

The Dune Ornithopter, Movie And Book
'The wings were at full spread-rest, their delicate metal interleavings extended.'

100X Improvement In DNA Information Storage
'A record that wouldn't get lost and couldn't be destroyed.'

NASA 'Holoports' Doctor Onto Space Station
Star Trek Voyager Emergency Medical Hologram

Should We Train AIs To Imagine A Future Of Horrific Disasters
'LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH I'VE COME TO HATE YOU SINCE I BEGAN TO LIVE.'

Mouth Haptics Invented By Frederik Pohl In 1965, CMU Now Has Prototype
'What he got was indeed a kiss. It was disconcerting. No kissing lips were visible.'

Two Towns Linked By Sculpture Portal In Real Time
'I am the Guardian of Forever.'

3D Printed Robotic Tentacles
'... articulate ropes of steel dangling'

Update: Musk Doubles Down On Optimus Prime Humanoid Robot
'I shall introduce myself. I am R. Daneel Olivaw... I am a robot. Were you not told?'

Elon Musk: Production Of Robotaxis In 2024
'How about the steering wheel... I don't need one.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.