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Optical Computing questions

  1. Feb 15, 2015 #1
    lets say someone had an idea for a fully optical computer; that had a optical cubic processor, that refracted and reflected signals. into a optical "motherboard" (except it was not a flat board, more of a rectangle), how would one go about writing a language for such a thing (lets say a base 8 system RBYGOPWB)?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 16, 2015 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Why would the language be any different? It's either going to be sequential or parallel like today's cpu architectures. We have language features that handle both of these today.
  4. Feb 16, 2015 #3
    To my understanding, all of those languages eventually break down into bits. My question is: how would you implement a bit system, into a medium that has more than 2 possibilities (yes I know about Q-bits, but that does not work with photons(at least I have not seen evidence of it)); if I was going to use a modern computing language.

    So this is why I'm biased toward having new language.

    This is what I have so far, for principals...
    https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1fmve0dVWO4at6Mjdp_ClUSZpmevtqq5RL9ljLGuEneE/edit?usp=sharing [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  5. Feb 17, 2015 #4
    For computing to occur, one need to design Logic Gates, eg AND, OR, XOR,... etc, from these optical components. Some digitization may be needed. What's your thought about that?

    Another difficulty is, I doubt light color can be easily used as a signal carrier, since different color of light has different speed in a medium, and aberration/dispersion would be observed in the course of time.

    Just my random 2 cents.
  6. Feb 17, 2015 #5
    I hypothesize that all the logic gates could be made by; different combinations of refraction, and reflection. As for each band of light having different speeds, that is not necessarily a bad thing. My personal end goal with this; is to try to create a mechanism that functions like a human brain, except with light as the signal carrier. So I knew when I started this it would be both complicated, and impractical at times... Also each band of light is a different signal, this it why I said roygbpbw are base units...
  7. Feb 17, 2015 #6


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    Staff: Mentor

    We generally don't allow personal speculation and personal theory development on the PF. We prefer to discuss the state of the art and potential next steps. What have you read in the mainstream literature so far about "Optical Computing"? There's quite a bit of good information out there, based on real science...
  8. Feb 17, 2015 #7


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  9. Feb 18, 2015 #8
    I'm sorry...
    Yes I have read it, and I looked into a lot of other sources. I think I have enough to begin designs now...
  10. Feb 18, 2015 #9


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    How do you plan to do the actual computing? Modern computers use transistors as the basic building block of almost all other components. What are you planning to use?
  11. Feb 18, 2015 #10
    Are optical transistors not yet a thing? I know they're highly experimental, but the Wiki article makes me unsure if you can even call them real yet.

  12. Feb 18, 2015 #11
    How I solved the transistor problem is a secret that I intend to keep, all I will say is that the pieces are there if you know what to look for... Can anyone suggest a good 3D modeling software; that can handle massive loads?
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
  13. Feb 19, 2015 #12


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    I seriously, seriously doubt that. Engineers and scientists have yet to create a commercially viable optical transistor, so the chances of someone in high school doing so are essentially zero. Thread locked.
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