By Moshe Dror
I would like to add some thoughts about the significance of light in our cyber culture. We will see why shortly.
The authors of a series of articles from the Forbes-ASAP series on Light remind us all that:
Light is so important in human culture that the entire history of science-poetry-philosophy-arts could be written around the ideas brought up by dealing with light?
Mentioning the ancient Egyptians who worshiped the sun; to the allegory of the cave of Plato, to Isaac Newton who helped us all shift into a “fully and clear light”; to the modern theories of quantum electrodynamics and the questions about whether light can be both a wave and a particle at the same time; to the uses of light in fiber-optic cables; and the Wi-Fi wireless uses of light sending data through the air.
We also must remember the electron which gave all of us 150 years of tireless service in so many fields. Yet, so many technologists want to retire the electron and replace it with light—in a land of waving fields of unlimited bandwidth with bountiful riches.
It all comes down to beautiful and colorful light- the same light that made life on earth possible and sustains us every moment and every second. Light has lost none of its old and future magic, mystery, and wonderment.
Why is light so significant:
It’s Lite: it has little or no mass,
It’s Fast: perhaps the fastest thing in the universe,
It’s Colorful: Unlike electrons. Photons can be had in a nearly infinite variety of colors, where each color can carry its own data stream.
Electrons, on the other hand are:
Too Tiny, Too Hot, Too Expensive.
In a fascinating article in Bits from the New York Times (February 12, 2009) Ashlee Vance writes about a visit to the Hewlett-Packard Labs in Paolo Alto, California.
The talk is about the possibility of using light to replace wires as the principle means of moving data. This will offer an incredible increase in the networking performance of computers through photonics.
Eventually most of the computing will be done through optical systems of many different kinds.
“The Future Will Be LIGHT”