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How to Build a Superluminal Computer

By Technology Review

March 12, 2010

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Vienna University of Technology physicists Volkmar Putz and Karl Svozil have devised a way to process information that exceeds the speed of light. They see no reason why a nonlocal quantum phenomenon such as entanglement cannot be exploited to process information at superluminal speeds, and they note that the phenomenon can lead to materials with a refraction index of less than 1.

For instance, light passing through a vacuum can be coaxed to spontaneously organize into an entangled electron-positron pair, which then recombines to form a photon again. This is an instantaneous process that lets the photon "jump" across space, and a material with a minus 1 refraction index would promote this type of process, according to Putz and Svozil. They propose that a vacuum filled with either electrons or positrons would be sufficient.

The next step is the immersion of a computer within this medium, facilitating superluminal computation. The resulting hypercomputer would surpass the power of Turing machines and support non-Turing computations.

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