Lecture Details

SLAC public Lecture Series

Past Lecture

Quantum Lightswitch: A New Direction in Ultrafast Electronics

Joshua Turner , SLAC
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 07:30 pm
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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.

Dr. Joshua Turner joined SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory as a staff scientist at the Linac Coherent Light Source, the world's first hard X-ray laser. He specializes in ultra-fast soft X-ray studies, which have been applied to an array of scientific fields, from chemistry and solids state physics to solid density plasmas found in large planets and laboratory astrophysics. He is currently pursuing X-ray laser measurements on the behavior of novel types of materials such as high-temperature superconductors.

He received both a BS in Physics and a BA degree in Mathematics from UC Santa Barbara before earning a Masters degree in Physics from Boston University. He went on to pursue a PhD in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics from the University of Oregon. During his doctoral studies, Joshua was an Advanced Light Source Doctoral Fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, but also spent time at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York in the Condensed Matter Physics and Material Science Department, where he worked on hard X-ray diffraction experiments. He eventually moved to Stony Brook University in New York for a Postdoctoral Fellowship where he specialized in Coherent Diffraction Imaging, a method of using mathematical algorithms to replace the lenses in X-ray experiments to image nanoscopic objects at finer resolution than what is capable with X-ray lenses. This was mainly applied to biological cells, but also included materials useful in alternative energy applications.