The UR Image

I just returned from Boston, where I attended the Science and Society conference had poor network access. I had my laptop for making notes, however, so I have posted a few conference-related commentaries—one on Al Gore’s keynote address and another about an Einstein sketch that was used in a presentation.

The picture above accompanied a press release from the University of Rochester, describing the storage of image data in a single photon. The concept is actually related to the topic of the single-electron experiment that I described in a recent post, albeit relying on the interference of photons, not electrons.

I’m intrigued by the choice of image used to support the press release. Thanks to digital photography (and probably the Internet, too), people now think of images as information in a way that probably didn’t seem as intuitive even a decade ago. So the use of an image to illustrate stored data makes more sense now that it would have previously.

FYI, the discovery is also described in a Washington Post article that appeared on Friday.

A diagram of the instrument set-up is perhaps not so helpful, at least not without a caption.