What is photonics? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Computing fundamentals glossary:

Photonics is an area of study that involves the use of radiant energy (such as light), whose fundamental element is the photon.

Photonic applications use the photon in the same way that electronic applications use the electron. Devices that run on light have a number of advantages over those that use electricity. Light travels at about 10 times the speed that electricity does, which means (among other things) that data transmitted photonically can travel long distances in a fraction of the time. Furthermore, visible-light and infrared (IR) beams, unlike electric currents, pass through each other without interacting, so they don't cause interference. A single optical fibre has the capacity to carry three million telephone calls simultaneously.

Among the large number of current or possible photonic applications are: photonic switching, silicon photonicsphotonic networks, and the photonic computer.

See an introductory tutorial on photonics:

This was last updated in November 2015
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • haptics

    - Haptics (pronounced HAP-tiks) is the science of applying touch (tactile) sensation and control to interaction with computer applications. (WhatIs.com)

  • business continuance (business continuity)

    - Business continuance (sometimes referred to as business continuity) describes the processes and procedures an organization puts in place to ensure that essential functions can continue during and a... (SearchStorage.com)

  • data glove

    - A data glove is an interactive device, resembling a glove worn on the hand, which facilitates tactile sensing and fine-motion control in robotics and virtual reality. (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Computing fundamentals

    - Terms related to computer fundamentals, including computer hardware definitions and words and phrases about software, operating systems, peripherals and troubleshooting.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.