/Nature inspires a novel new form of computing, using light

Nature inspires a novel new form of computing, using light

Futurizonte Editor’s Note: A computer inspired by nature and using light. Clearly, the distinction between nature and technology is fading.

Credit: McMaster University
McMaster University researcher Fariha Mahmood demonstrates a novel new form of computing that can perform simple calculations by shining patterned bands of light through a polymer cube.

Summary: McMaster University researchers perform simple calculations by shining bands of light through a polymer cube

Original author and publication date: McMaster University – May 23, 2019

McMaster researchers have developed a simple and highly novel form of computing by shining patterned bands of light and shadow through different facets of a polymer cube and reading the combined results that emerge.

The material in the cube reads and reacts intuitively to the light in much the same way a plant would turn to the sun, or a cuttlefish would change the color of its skin.

The researchers are graduate students in chemistry supervised by Kalaichelvi Saravanamuttu, an associate professor of chemistry and chemical biology whose lab focuses on ideas inspired by natural biological systems.

The researchers were able to use their new process to perform simple addition and subtraction questions.

“These are autonomous materials that respond to stimuli and do intelligent operations,” says Saravanamuttu. “We’re very excited to be able to do addition and subtraction this way, and we are thinking of ways to do other computational functions.”

The researchers’ work, published today in the journal Nature Communications, represents a completely new form of computing, one they say holds the promise of complex and useful functions yet to be imagined, possibly organized along the structures of neural networks.

READ the complete original article here.