based on water, I thought that was plenty amazing. IBM launching a five-year quantum computing project was an astounding follow-up, but when I found a group of scientists using the human brain to further computing, I thought I'd pretty much found the weirdest component possible. But when it rains it pours. The latest entry into future computing is . . . an invisibility cloak.When I first wrote about radically new computer construction being
Using "metamaterials" (artificially-engineered substances with new properties), a team led by optical physicist Martin McCall of the Imperial College London has blueprinted a cloak that will bend not just light but time itself. He's published the team's paper in this month's "Journal of Optics."
"We introduce a new type of electromagnetic cloak, the spacetime cloak (STC), which conceals events rather than objects. . . The cloak works by locally manipulating the speed of light of an initially uniform light distribution, whilst the light rays themselves always follow straight paths."
I think we can all agree that this is awesome. Awesome to the max. But how does it relate to computing?
"Potential demonstrations include . . .'interrupt-without-interrupt' computation on convergent data channels."
Science Daily, McCall fills out some of the implications of that interruption.In an article adapted for
"A given data channel could for example be interrupted to perform a priority calculation on a parallel channel during the cloak operation. Afterwards, it would appear to external parts of the circuit as though the original channel had processed information continuously, so as to achieve 'interrupt-without-interrupt'."
The magazine Nature interviewed metamaterials specialist Otwin Hess of the University of Surrey for their article on the cloak. Hess theorizes that this interrupt could be used to to shield quantum systems from being observed, and hence changed by that observation. It will also, in a sense, increase the lifetime of quantum entanglements.
I think it's clear that the next innovation in computer design will probably involve unicorn horn.
If you are a "metamaterials specialist" or a quantum mechanic or a computer scientist, please answer this question in the comments below: What are the full panoply of implications in computing for interrupt-without-interrupt?