Light and Hot Adventures

This poem explains the beginning of light-speed photonic computing.


1 Light is oh so beautiful
and colorful to boot
When it is computing
It shows itself astute

2 For half-a-century maybe more
They’ve tried to capture it
But it’s shown itself real slippery
Evading clever wit

3 Until a basic process found
In a plane old physics text
It pictured interference
Which for others just perplexed

4 Four conditions it did show
Of two coherent input beams
Which made 4 different pictures
When combining them in teams

5 Two showed single beams,
Looked nearly both the same
Both made “Constructive Interference”
With the last “Destructive” came

6 On a simple piece of cardboard
With a square hole in it
By blinking inputs on and off
It output Boolean Logic

7 By positioning the output hole
At a strategic spot
Within the laser image
Light computing got its start

8 That’s the way computers work
At least the digital kind
So Hait ran to the government
For a patent he could find.

9 It issued back in ‘92 *
His first one made him proud
He’s finally an inventor in
An official elite crowd

10 Then over time he then did have
600 maybe more
47 made it to the patent office
Of these ones he had in store

11 He laid a fine foundation
Computing with photons
No more need to wrestle with
Sluggish electrons

12 ‘cause light is really fast you see
It goes in femtoseconds
A million times much faster
Thus the market surely beckons

13 The problem is, it is too fast
Makes a billion dollar market grab
‘cause no one wants a computer
That’s slower than his neighbor has.

14 The holograms of which they’re made
From aluminum and glass
With a little plastic thrown right in
Just to make them really fast

15 Of course the old equipment
Holograms it cannot beat
‘cause they just make electronics
So they're now all obsolete

16 And that’s a lot of money
That folks have on the line
So they may resort to anything
To keep their investments from decline

17 The problem was it’s worth too much
Caused greed to jump right in
Competition infiltrated
Made him take it on the chin

18 So for now it’s been stepped on
Crushed underneath their boot
But time will come when it wakes up
‘cause its physics at its root.

19 You can’t evade the natural laws
They always work the same
It just takes someone smart enough
To put it together again.

20 But they can’t hook them together
There’s a secret hidden there
Without a change in thinking
And that’s sure very rare

21 Most think it is impossible
Inside photons they must see
They need pseudorandom thinking
To junk their uncertainty

22 So it is a hot adventure
To see if they can bring
Light computing to the market
So computers then will sing.

23 If they’re going to do it
Or their competition maybe
It’s still a hot adventure
We’ll just have to wait and see

Exciting isn't it!

by John N. Hait

* U.S. patent number 5,093,802, March 3, 1992


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