Light Pedaling: Photonic brakes are vital for circuits | Science News

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Light Pedaling: Photonic brakes are vital for circuits

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12:01pm, November 2, 2005

Just as optical fibers have replaced most electrical wires for long-distance telecommunications, light-based circuits may replace electrical ones in applications involving vast flows of data within computers and networks. Now, a team of industrial researchers has taken what may be a crucial step toward such photonic circuitry: They've found a way to dial down the speed of light within microchip components.

Because any photonic circuit must store information temporarily, scientists have in recent years developed numerous ways to slow light pulses, effectively holding on to them for brief periods of time. In the new work, Yurii A. Vlasov and his colleagues at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y.

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