The use of light as a tool dates back further than ten thousand years to some of the oldest architecture known to humankind. The sundial is a perfect example of a simple tool that utilizes light.
In the modern era the importance of the electromagnetism cannot be understated. Radio, and fibre optic cables are vital to our communication infrastructure while ultraviolet plays an important role in all sorts of imaging technology.
We are continuing to find innovative ways to grasp the visible and non visible spectrum. For example how about laser beams that can steer a robot underwater?. Equipping such a capability to an unmanned underwater vehicle that is designed to restore the coral reef system could even help prevent extinction.
Holographic 3D printing is another groundbreaking technology that projects a hologram made out of laser beams in to vat of hydrogel. Essentially searing the object in to place and creating a seamless product. All of the various steps to constructing a product make it more susceptible to damage. The more components there are the more “chinks in the armor” that can be leveraged to damage a product. Creating a seamless print helps avoid that problem.
What about the Pentagons recently declassified “Voice of God” technology that uses non-visible light to broadcast audio in to the brain of a receiver? It could eventually be applied as a voluntary means of receiving information from a satellite which would act as a less invasive alternative to installing a microchip implant. Of course any technology can be abused so it is important we remain vigilant as well.
Now with the advent of quantum supremacy we are beginning to transition from an infrastructure that depends almost exclusively on electricity to one that will program entangled particles of light (photons) to communicate across the fabric of space and time. Right now quantum computing still requires extreme operating conditions however even thas is changing as new discoveries are being made. The end game is to enable instantaneous communication across vast distances of space and time and we are getting closer and closer to that every day.
In the subatomic world of quantum computing photons are often stored inside of a diamond, quartz crystal, man made metamaterial or magnetic field. Another form of spinning magnetic-light based information encoding includes Skyrmions which are subatomic magnetic oscillators that bear implications for nuclear fusion as well.
Our intuitive obsession with light isn’t new by any stretch of the imagination. Ancient civilizations were fascinated with the path each and every celestial body took across the night sky and went through an incredible amount of effort to track, and even more labor to embody those proportions in their great architectural work.
A more direct example of ancient light technology is the Giza Pyramid itself which demonstrates a peculiar conductivity that enables it to collect and amplify radiowaves from the atmosphere. Essentially ‘grounding” them much in the same way a a lightning poll works.
Oftentimes there are a few words that get confused with one another one talking about light and so it is important that we briefly clarify what they mean.
“Light” is used to refer the visible part of the EM spectrum that we can see, whereas “electromagnetism” is used to refer to a wider range of light beyond the visible boundary, which we can observe with the aid of a lens.
“Electromagnetism” is the force carrier that enables electrons and protons to repel each other whereas “Photons” are single particles of light that are exchanged in the process. Technically speaking, electromagnetism is light we cannot see without the aid of a tool. It is also important to remember that when light is not being measured or observed, it is a wave, not a particle.
Since a wave is superposed over multiple points in space and time, it is capable of more informational complexity then a single particle. That is why quantum technology is so promising. Photons are entangled in to what are essentially vast networks of probability that can cross-reference eachother 10000 X faster then the speed of light
So the main difference here as far as the future of technology is concerned, is that we’re moving toward encoding the force carrier (light) rather then the force being directed – electricity.
Other forms of EM radiation include radio signals. Beyond the most common use in the radio receiver itself – CETI and other organizations have recently discovered several “fast radio signals” which they think may be a sign of more advanced extraterrestrial life.
Other sections of the EM spectrum like Microwave, Ultraviolet and Infrared most often play a role in food prep, medical and military respectively. However as far as the infrared spectrum is concerned, how about a laser beam that can transport energy or even eliminate nuclear waste. Another recent discovery proves that light can be generated from a vacuum, and directed to influence matter.
Now, with the advent of quantum technology and shape-shifting meta-material science we are actually going to be able to store energy/information inside of the regular space between each atomic bond.
You could also think about it as a way of reducing the amount of steps between computation and solar power by essentially programming matter with exactly the same light that is being absorbed by it. This is made possible only with artificial compounds that have a very dense and interwoven geometric symmetry to them such as diamond, graphene, diamene, borophene. Along with every new generation nanotechnology manages to capture more and more of the electromagnetic spectrum, such as with the recent extension further in to infrared, which is expected to increase the efficiency of solar power by at least another 10%.
A graphene nanoribbon for example may be cut and altered to encode information with light, an example of an optical metamaterial or more specifically known as an electroquantum dynamic metamaterial.
After the Bose Einstein Condensate a couple more examples of strange properties exhibited by evanescent gas plasma cooled to near Absolute Zero include Iridium and Rubidium. Whats interesting about plasma, the fourth state of matter is that it pulses with visible light, a beautiful phenomena witnessed during the Aurora Borealis.