-2
$\begingroup$

Is there a way to create an optical transistor that runs using a cheap laser and made using mirrors and lenses? My point of using that is to make an optical logic gates, but there is another problem that i don't know how do i create a negation (NOT) gate because how to make if there is light, another light can't pass but if not, it can.

Please include a helpful illustration of it, and i don't really know a correct tag for it so please don't mark it as off topic

$\endgroup$
5
$\begingroup$

Is there a way to create an optical transistor that runs using a cheap laser and made using mirrors and lenses?

No. Classical electromagnetism is a linear theory, which means that it always obeys the superposition principle, and if you only use linear optical elements (such as mirrors and lenses) you stay within that box. The nontrivial logical behaviour of a transistor, on the other hand, is nonlinear behaviour that falls outside of that box.

As the Wikipedia page will inform you (you did check it before asking, right?), it is possible to make optical transistors using nonlinear optical effects of various kinds. None of these are currently (or in the foreseeable future) suitable for implementation in a home experiment.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

"Is there a way to create an optical transistor that runs using a cheap laser and made using mirrors and lenses?" Yes and no. It depends on the definition of "cheap", and on how fast the "transistor" needs to be. Mirrors and lenses per se won't do anything but steer and concentrate light. You need a nonlinear medium, as @EmilioPisanty pointed out. There are some nonlinear media available that a talented home experimenter could use, such as fluorescent media, photothermoplastic media, and photochromic media. Perhaps easier, though, would be to play with optical feedback into the laser. Many lasers become unstable if a significant portion of their output is reflected directly back into the laser; and that instability could be treated as one optically switchable state of the laser. Nonlinear optical effects require a high power density, but a 50mw laser (which can be pretty cheap) can reach sufficient power density when focused to a small area.

All that said, a home experimenter would need some real talent and persistence to do what you want to do. You might do well to investigate photorefractive materials and phase conjugation, which can be used to implement optical transistors and all types of Boolean logic gates.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Yup, I must have. Thx. $\endgroup$ – S. McGrew Sep 1 at 1:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.