I am quite sure that you have heard of the phrase, “fighting fire with fire”, but how about this new one in the world of engineering, “using light to control light”? A team of scientists and engineers at the University of Minnesota has managed to invent a special microscale optical device which is said to be able to greatly increase the speed of downloading information online with another benefit – reducing the overall cost of Internet transmission. Just how does this device do it? It relies on the force generated by light in order to flip a mechanical switch of light on and off at a very high speed. This would definitely open up new pathways for the world of computation and signal processing using light alone instead of electrical current, resulting in higher performance and lower power consumption.


Mo Li, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering said, “This device is similar to electromechanical relays but operates completely with light.” I definitely am not complaining if we have even faster Internet speeds, not to mention living in a greener environment, how about you?

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