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We Can Now Store Light as Sound, And It's a Game Changer For Computing

• sciencealert.com by Fiona MacDonald

Last year, scientists took a big step towards creating the next generation of computers.

For the first time ever, they stored light-based information as sound waves on a computer chip - something the researchers compared to capturing lightning as thunder.

While that might sound a little strange, this conversion is critical if we ever want to shift from our current, inefficient electronic computers, to light-based computers that move data at the speed of light. 

Light-based or photonic computers have the potential to run at least 20 times faster than your laptop, not to mention the fact that they won't produce heat or suck up energy like existing devices.

This is because they, in theory, would process data in the form of photons instead of electrons.

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