FAQ Revised: Monday 25 April 2005 10:17:48
Most telecommunications networks transmit information by encoding information on optical pulses. In order to ensure the arrival of a signal (such as an e-mail or a web page) any given signal must navigate many different optical fiber lines in order to reach a destination. The process of controlling the route of an optical signal often relies on electronic control and storage of the signal. However it is much faster and less expensive if an optical signal can be controlled by another optical signal. This is the fundamental idea behind all-optical switching.
Transverse optical patterns have been observed in many nonlinear optical systems. A review of such systems is available as a special issue of Chaos, Solitons and Fractals Vol. 4, 1251, 1994
We get this a lot. There is still a lot of work to do in order to address this question in a complete way. At this point we have demonstrated that our switch behaves in a manner that is similar to a transistor driven into saturation. In other words the output of our switch is either high or low, and the level of the output is consistent for a wide range of input levels.