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Scientists have discovered new particles that could lie at the heart of a future technological revolution based on photonic circuitry, leading to superfast, light-based computing.

Current computing technology is based on electronics, where electrons are used to encode and transport information.

Due to some fundamental limitations, such as energy-loss through resistive heating, it is expected that electrons will eventually need to be replaced by photons, leading to futuristic light-based computers that are much faster and more efficient than current electronic ones.

Physicists at the University of Exeter have taken an important step towards this goal, as they have discovered new half-light half-matter particles that inherit some of the remarkable features of graphene.

This discovery opens the door for the development of photonic circuitry using these alternative particles, known as massless Dirac polaritons, to transport information rather than electrons.

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Category: Science