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

  • DOS

    - DOS (Disk Operating System) can refer to a computer operating system that is loaded from a disk drive or to an operating system based on Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS). (SearchSecurity.com)

  • supercomputer

    - The first commercially successful supercomputer, the CDC (Control Data Corporation) 6600 was designed by Seymour Cray. Released in 1964, the CDC 6600 had a single CPU and cost $8 million — the equi... (WhatIs.com)

  • URL shortening

    - A URL shortener is a service that translates long URLs into abbreviated alternatives. (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.