New Scientist Spasers herald a new dawn for optical computing

IT’S a laser, but not as we know it. For a start, you need a microscope to see it.

Gleaming eerily green, it is a single spherical particle just a few tens of nanometres across.

Making optical computing a possibility again? (Image: Jeffrey Coolidge/Getty)

(Image: Jeffrey Coolidge/Getty)

Tiny it might be, but its creators have big plans for it. With further advances, it could help to fulfil a long-held dream: to build a super-fast computer that computes with light.

Dubbed a “spaser”, this minuscule lasing object is the latest by-product of a buzzing field known as nanoplasmonics. Just as microelectronics exploits the behaviour of electrons in metals and semiconductors on micrometre scales, so nanoplasmonics is concerned with the nanoscale comings and goings of entities known as plasmons that lurk on and below the surfaces of metals.

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Below: Major General Jim Molan accepts the Australian Thinker of the Year Award from SOT Principal, Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson

—Click here to read his acceptance speech …


Guests at the Reception enjoy the fine hospitality of the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre (MCEC)

L to R: CEO of MCEC Mr Leigh Harry, Maj Gen Molan with his award, SOT Principal, Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson

Each year the prestigious Australian Thinker of the Year Award is presented in recognition of the contribution Australian thinkers make both nationally and globally.

The current recipient is Jim Molan AO DSC Major General (Retired), best-selling author of Running the War in Iraq in recognition of his unique contribution as an Australian general overseeing a total force of 300‚000 troops‚ including 155‚000 Americans.

The award was presented to General Molan at the new Melbourne Convention Centre in the presence of distinguished national and international guests.

Previous Recipients

—Click here to see previous awards in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 …

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GENERAL PETER COSGROVE, Former Chief of the Defence Force said:  “Hats off to Jim Molan”.


HERALD SUN: Click for full address by Prince William …

“WHAT an exciting place Australia is, though!

This truly is a country for the 21st century. I only wish I had a little longer to see a bit more of Melbourne, this legendary city of sport and culture.

But if I may, I’ll be back!

So, coming to Australia is the realisation of this long-held dream. To be standing here, in beautiful Melbourne, on a glorious summer’s afternoon, is one thing. But to be asked to address you at the state of Victoria’s Australia Day celebrations is a great honour for me.

Thank you for asking me to be here and making me feel so very welcome.

Happy Australia Day.”

Prince William in Melbourne for Australia Day event

Prince William in Melbourne for Australia Day event

HERALD SUN: Click for full address by Prince William …

What is Australia?

Australia is a constitutional monarchy created by the Majority of Electors of 1900. The Governor-General is Head of State and Elizabeth II is Sovereign.

Since the creation of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1900 the Crown of Australia has been worn by six monarchs: Victoria, Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII, George VI and Elizabeth II.

Peoplepower:  the Majority of Electors

200 years ago Napoleon’s master, Prince Talleyrand, said, “There is someone more intelligent than Voltaire, more powerful than the emperor–and that is the people“. 100 years later in 1900, this peoplepower ideal became a reality in Australia.

As we celebrate Australia Day, in 2010, peoplepower is still one of the enduring truths of our Commonwealth.

The Majority of Electors was the original power in 1900 that created The Constitution.

In 2010, the Majority of Electors is still the only power in Australia that can change The Constitution.

In contrast to other political realities like in Iraq, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Fiji or even the Vatican, the USA, India and China, the fact is that the Electors of Australia have been able to hold, without interruption, the ultimate constitutional power in Australia for over a hundred years!

This continuous record of peoplepower and political stability is unprecedented in modern world history.

Australia is the name given to an agreement between The Majority of Electors of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania, and Western Australia to unite in one federation under the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia.

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So who really created what we now know as ‘Australia’?

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