IBM takes plastic quantum route

ibm-officeBig Blue said it has made a breakthrough that will provide the potential to create ultra fast optical switches, suitable for future big data computer systems.

The company said its scientists have demonstrated a quantum mechanical process known as Bose-Einstein Condensation (BEC).

It uses a luminescent polymer similar to the light emitting displays in smartphones of today.

The phenomenon demonstrated by the scientists is named after Satyendranath Bose and Albert Einstein – they predicted it in the mid 1920s, said IBM.  A BEC is a state of matter when a dilute gas of particles (bosons) are cooled to close to absolute zero (-273C).

However, IBM has achieved the same state at room temperature in a thin plastic film of 35 nanometres with bosonic particles created through interaction of the polymer material and light.   The phenomenon last for a few picoseconds, but the IBM scientists think that is long enough to create a source of laser-like light or an optical switch.