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So here is the explanation of the (terrible) joke in the Intel photonic switch story (Light dawns at Intel) we ran yesterday.

The answer we were looking for had to include reference to the Michelson Morley interferometer experiment, which is very similar to the description of the generation of photonic modulation in its operation.

It was designed to prove that there was an ether, a medium through which it had been suggested light would propagate. It ended up proving the opposite: that the ether did not exist.

Light was split into two beams which were recombined after travelling along orthogonal paths. If there had been an ether, the light beams would have interfered with each other as the direction the light moved through the ether would affected the motion of the light wave.

No such result was found, thus proving there is no ether. Hence ethernets won't benefit. :-) A pun, no less.

The T-shirt prize goes to Edward Smallwood, who was first back with a reference to the intrepid scientists. Nice one, Ed. Let us know what size that T-Shirt should be, and we'll get it in the post.

Well done, also, to everyone who suggested that an Ether Net might be usful for catching an Ether Bunny. No prizes, we're afraid, beyond the knowledge that you made us laugh. ®

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