Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published May 30, 2023 | Published + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Photonic elementary cellular automata for simulation of complex phenomena


Cellular automata are a class of computational models based on simple rules and algorithms that can simulate a wide range of complex phenomena. However, when using conventional computers, these 'simple' rules are only encapsulated at the level of software. This can be taken one step further by simplifying the underlying physical hardware. Here, we propose and implement a simple photonic hardware platform for simulating complex phenomena based on cellular automata. Using this special-purpose computer, we experimentally demonstrate complex phenomena, including fractals, chaos, and solitons, which are typically associated with much more complex physical systems. The flexibility and programmability of our photonic computer present new opportunities to simulate and harness complexity for efficient, robust, and decentralized information processing using light.

Additional Information

© The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The authors gratefully acknowledge support from ARO grant no. W911NF-23-1-0048, NSF grant no. 1846273 and 1918549, AFOSR award FA9550- 20-1-0040, and NASA/JPL. The authors wish to thank NTT Research for their financial and technical support. Contributions. All authors contributed to this manuscript. Data availability. The data used to generate the plots and results in this paper are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request. Code availability. The code used to analyze the data and generate the plots for this paper is available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request. Conflict of interest. G.H.Y.L. and A.M. are inventors on a US provisional patent application filed by the California Institute of Technology (application number 63/441,387) related to the work presented here. The remaining authors declare no competing interests.

Attached Files

Supplemental Material - 41377_2023_1180_MOESM1_ESM.pdf

Published - s41377-023-01180-9.pdf


Files (4.5 MB)
Name Size Download all
3.5 MB Preview Download
1.0 MB Preview Download

Additional details

August 20, 2023
August 20, 2023