Nanoparticles that control flow of light could mean faster and cheaper internet

Imagine a window with an image etched on its surface, but when you walk around to the other side, the image is entirely different.

Though it sounds impossible, that’s essentially what researchers from the Australian National University (ANU) have achieved, with tiny translucent slides that can show two distinct images, at the same time, when viewed from opposite sides.

In one experiment, for instance, the scientists created a slide that shows the continent of Australia on one side, and the Sydney Opera House on the other.

The advance in the field known as “nonlinear optics” could have applications in photonic computing — using visible light or infrared instead of electrical current to perform digital computations.

These new light-based devices could eventually lead to faster and cheaper internet, the researchers said.

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