Scientists have built an optical device smaller than a dime that slows light down to 155 miles per second, the slowest ever managed on a chip. …
The 6-meter-long incoming light pulse was squashed like a Slinky, fitting into just 5 mm on the chip.
Chips based on Schmidt’s work could be used to create all-optical systems that would potentially be “cheaper, faster and use less power,” said physicist John Howell from the University of Rochester, who was not involved in the study. Slowing light on a chip could eventually be used for optical memory, quantum cryptography, and to create simple quantum computers, he said.
This reminds of “Slow Glass,” the heart-touching sci fi story by J. G. Ballard. Worth the detour to a library to find in one of the collections of short stories by Ballard.