Holy Crap! Data Storage Using a SINGLE Photon!

If this pans out, you can plan on throwing out your new HD-DVD or Blu-Ray player.

Can optical computing be next?

I have been saying for years that optical computing will be the next revolutionary breakthrough. I’m glad it’s starting to happen. Amazing times we live in. Amazing times.

And I’m feeling a little bad that absolutely none of the amazingness is my doing. I’m just along for the ride, you know?

Well, the world needs ditch diggers, too. :cool:

I don’t see how a single photon can be detected in more than one pixel of the camera. I wonder if they actually mean “light level so low that only one photon at a time goes through the stencil”?

If only I could be so socially useful. Unfortunately, I work in health care.

If you read the article that does indeed seem to be what they’re saying.

Sounds like the Tabernacle From **Zardoz ** is getting close now.

So that’s how THESE work!

Now we can all finally have set just like this, in our own home theatre.

It would be cool if the first such image was from the beginning of the Bible’s book of Genesis. Either that, or “Sic Luceat Lux” (“let the light shine”), with or without the “Tree of Life” illustration.

That’s why I’m glad my job is manually masterbating pigs for artificial insemination.

Unfortunately, the encoded information was lost when a careless research assistant accidentally used the same photon to record “Oprah.”

I think it should be a picture of a Fiat belonging to someone named Luke.
Then you could call it Luke’s Fiat

Imagine encoding the Library of Congress or something on it, and then losing it…

"Dammit, it was right here in the chamber! Wait a minute… did anyone else see anything fluoresce?


'Course y’all realize this amazing new technology will probably mainly be used to store even-vaster amounts of porn.

It looks as though this is some kind of play on the double-slit experiment, where a single photon behaves as if it passed through both slits at the same time.

But I don’t see how a multi-pixel image like this can be discerned from a single photon - photons are quantized, aren’t they? Doesn’t this sound like it violates imformation/compression theory?

Indeed. I suspect that the journalist didn’t fully understand and messed up in his explanation. From what I’ve read about photon-based data storage, a photon serves as a replacement for a bit. So their 4" cell is probably a 100-photonbit write-only (?) memory chip that they used as a black and white bitmap.

Though from the image in the article it seems like they’ve got some spots hotter than others. So maybe my understanding is wrong, or there are actually multiple photons in some squares? Certainly in the electricity word, you have to set that a certain range of charge is zero and another range is one.

Ah, reading it again, I think I understand. He only shot a single photon, but that’s per pulse. It’s probably like drawing to a CTR, I think. For each pulse it aims at a different square in the cell, sending a single photon into it. So you might aim at the top left corner, shoot a pulse, aim one to right, shoot, one to the right, shoot, etc. And then depending on how much of the photon was blocked, it will have more “charge” in it’s cell.

Pretty cool!

To be honest, it sounds like the article might be conflating several different emerging technologies - single pixel cameras, single photon sensors (or single electron memories), and optical buffering, only the latter of which seems to be the real subject of the research

CEO of Seagate Technologies: