For the first time ever, scientists have stored light-based information as sound waves on a computer chip – something the researchers compare to capturing lightning as thunder.
While that might sound a little strange, this conversion is critical if we ever want to shift from our current, inefficient electronic computers, to light-based computers that move data at the speed of light. 
Light-based or photonic computers have the potential to run at least 20 times faster than your laptop, not to mention the fact that they won’t produce heat or suck up energy like existing devices.
This is because they, in theory, would process data in the form of photons instead of electrons.
We say in theory, because, despite companies such as IBM and Intel pursuing light-based computing, the transition is easier said than done.
Coding information into photons is easy enough – we already do that when we send information via optical fibre.
But finding a …