If you can trap light inside a tapering waveguide, it would be possible to store information using light, which would make your 2 TB external drive full of naughty Shrek fan art look like a Prime Computer. And, since I’m writing about this here, it could only mean one thing: somebody just did that shizz.
The idea is that as the waveguide tapers, the components of the light are made to stop in turn at ever narrower points. That’s because any given component of the light cannot pass through an opening that’s smaller than its wavelength. This leads to a “trapped rainbow”.
While numerical models showed that such waveguides would work in theory, making them out of metamaterials remained a distant dream. Now Vera Smolyaninova of Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland, and colleagues have used a convex lens to create the tapered waveguide and trap a rainbow of light. [NewScientist]
And they didn’t even need special metameterials to do this, as previously assumed. All they needed was a gold-plated convex lens and a gold-plated glass slide. The happiest to hear the news was Ronnie James Dio, who has been trying to catch the rainbow since ’77. Now he can stop hoarding skittles and kidnapping short Irishmen. Unfortunately, catching the rainbow is still no cure for his stomach cancer. Wow, I didn’t know I’d be baking frownies today, and yet here they are.