SLAC public Lecture Series
Quantum Lightswitch: A New Direction in Ultrafast Electronics
As electronics become faster and more powerful and the components of integrated circuits shrink, scientists are bumping up against the limitations imposed by fundamental physics, forcing them to invent new technologies. Today computer hard drives store information in tiny magnets, essentially, in the direction in which electrons spin. But there is a limit to how fast the spins of electrons can be flipped to process data. In a future generation of electronics, information could instead be stored and retrieved by changing how electrons orbit within the atoms of the material. In this lecture, SLAC's Dr. Joshua Turner will explain this concept of orbital electronics. He will discuss what electron orbitals are and how they might be used to access information in special materials. He will then describe experiments at SLAC X-ray laser, the Linac Coherent Light Source, which will be able to demonstrate this idea, writing and reading out information thousands of times faster than what is possible with computers. Finally, he will explain the potential path from these fundamental experiments to technologies for a new class of electronic devices.