A pair of breakthroughs in the field of silicon photonics by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Micron Technology Inc. could allow for the trajectory of exponential improvement in microprocessors that began nearly half a century ago—known as Moore’s Law—to continue well into the future, allowing for increasingly faster electronics, from supercomputers to laptops to smartphones.
A decade ago, John Giacomoni was working as a professional research assistant in the Software Engineering Research Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder when the group took on a problem they couldn’t afford to solve.
Giacomoni was working in Professor Alexander L. Wolf’s lab and their task was to build a system that could secure the campus from electronic attacks. As the scope of the project expanded, they soon discovered the specialty hardware they needed to continue was a budget buster.
To find the answer, he went about building experiments. He tried to test the impact of the fields on E. coli, on cancer cells, on fruit flies and even on mice. But he quickly ran into a problem: The magnetic fields in the biological incubators he was using weren’t consistent. In fact, they weren’t even close.
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