Remarks from Bryant Shiller

 Yoad Aharon is a PHD student in the Applied Physics Dept chaired by Prof Gilad Marcus. For the record, Yoad is doing advanced research into the effects of High Harmonic Resonance Generation in Lasers  – to be able to generate ultra short x-ray pulses out of a common and cheap commercially available infrared laser.

Scholarship winner Yoad Aharon with Bryant and Lillian Shiller

Scholarship winner Yoad Aharon with Bryant and Lillian Shiller

While this demanding and novel research is very interesting from the basic physics point of view, there are important practical implications – including but not limited to – the production of computer chips. Let me briefly explain why and how!

Way back in the 1960s, Gordon Moore, the co-founder of computer chip manufacturer Intel, observed that the number of transistors that could be fitted on a silicon chip was doubling every two years. Since the transistor count is related to processing power, that meant that computing power was effectively doubling every two years as well. This maxim became known as Moore’s Law.

But in fact, Moore’s law is proving to have built-in limitations. As you try and increase the number of transistors on a chip, you must be able to make them smaller and smaller. But there is a fundamental size limit imposed by the laws of physics and the laws of light optics in particular – a light-dependent size limitation that manufacturers are quickly approaching.

One of the practical end goals of Yoad’s research is the possibility to replace the limitations of light in the chip manufacturing lithography process with ultrafast enhanced lasers to extend Moore’s Law into the foreseeable future. We all use computers and instinctively know that this could represent an important game changer.

So that is why we are here to support HU research excellence. We know that our contributions make a difference and just as importantly, we can enjoy the pleasure of living vicariously through the research and excitement of those we support.