Jul 26, 2022

Researchers propose neuromorphic computing with optically driven nonlinear fluid dynamics

Posted by in category: futurism

Sunlight sparkling on water evokes the rich phenomena of liquid-light interaction, spanning spatial and temporal scales. While the dynamics of liquids have fascinated researchers for decades, the rise of neuromorphic computing has sparked significant efforts to develop new, unconventional computational schemes based on recurrent neural networks, crucial to supporting wide range of modern technological applications, such as pattern recognition and autonomous driving. As biological neurons also rely on a liquid environment, a convergence may be attained by bringing nanoscale nonlinear fluid dynamics to neuromorphic computing.

Researchers from University of California San Diego recently proposed a novel paradigm where liquids, which usually do not strongly interact with light on a micro-or nanoscale, support significant nonlinear response to optical fields. As reported in Advanced Photonics, the researchers predict a substantial light-liquid interaction effect through a proposed nanoscale gold patch operating as an optical heater and generating thickness changes in a covering the waveguide.

The liquid film functions as an . Here’s how it works: Light in the waveguide affects the geometry of the liquid surface, while changes in the shape of the liquid surface affect the properties of the optical mode in the waveguide, thus constituting a mutual coupling between the optical mode and the liquid film. Importantly, as the liquid geometry changes, the properties of the optical mode undergo a nonlinear response; after the optical pulse stops, the magnitude of liquid film’s deformation indicates the power of the previous optical pulse.

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