The study of the control of photons, especially for the transmission of information. Includes technology such as lasers, laser amplifiers, fiber optic cables, light-conducting buckytubes, light emitters, sensors and imaging systems of all sorts, charge-coupled devices, optical communication systems, holography, phased array optics, optical computers, and all types of optical data storage systems.
Related Articles
  • Hologram - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    An interference pattern that is encoded by laser beams and read by means of low-power laser beams. This interference pattern can reconstruct a three-dimensional image. An important property of a hologram is that the information is distributed throughout the hologram, so half a hologram retains the full picture, but at half the resolution. Biont memories have similar holistic properties.
  • Holovision - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Media or information display device used for education and entertainment, as an alternative to both 2D on the one hand and DNI on the other. While crude versions were available as early as AT 67 (including compact portable models used with a head-mounted viewer for full-immersion audio/visual), full holovision had to await the development of sophisticated phased array optics in the early 3rd century, which give it the ability to project life-like three-dimensional images into the center of a room.
  • Optical Computer - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A computer that processes information using light instead of electrons. Each stream of photons represents an independent sequence of data, thereby providing extremely massive parallel computation. Nanooptical computers can use a single photon as a bit.
  • Optical Phased Arrays
Appears in Topics
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev based on a list by Robert J. Hall
Initially published on 19 December 2001.