Nolte, David 1959-

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NOLTE, David 1959-


Born January 30, 1959. Education: Cornell University, B.A. (physics), 1981; University of California—Berkeley, Ph.D. (physics), 1988.


Office—Department of Physics, Purdue University, 4155 Eisenhower Rd., West Lafayette, IN 47905. E-mail—[email protected].


Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, research assistant for Center for Advanced Materials, 1984-88; A.T.&T. Bell Labs, Murray Hill, NJ, postdoctoral member of technical staff, 1988-89; Purdue University, Purdue, IN, assistant professor, 1989-94, associate professor, 1994-99, professor of physics, 1999—. Holoscan, Ltd., member board of directors, 2000; Science for Peace Program, NATO consultant, 2000.


American Physical Society, Optical Society of America, Phi Beta Kappa.


Young Author Best Paper Award, International Conference on the Physics of Semiconductors, 1990; research initiation award, National Science Foundation, 1990-93; research fellowship, Alfred P. Sloan, 1990-94; Presidential Young Investigator, National Science Foundation, 1991-96; fellowship, Optical Society of America, 1997; Ruth and Joel Spira Award for Best Undergraduate Physics Teacher, Purdue University, 1997.


(With N. M. Haegel and K. W. Goossen) Photo-induced Space-charge Effects in Semiconductors, Materials Research Society (Pittsburgh, PA), 1992.

Photorefractive Effects and Materials, Kluwer Academic Publishers (Dordrecht, Netherlands), 1995.

The Intelligence of Light: From Visual Communication to Holographic Computers and the Optical Internet, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2001.

Mind at Light Speed: A New Kind of Intelligence, Free Press (New York, NY), 2001.

Contributor to numerous science encyclopedias, trade journals, and magazine.


Physicist David Nolte has spent much of his career experimenting and developing computers that use light instead of electricity to compute, which is the subject of his book, Mind at Light Speed: A New Kind of Intelligence.

In what Elizabeth Corcoran in the Boston Globe called "a gentle tour through the highlights of modern physics," Mind at Light Speed describes the technological advances that may take place over the next century that will give birth to computers with incredible power. These computers will use crystals, lasers, and quantum properties to achieve intelligence that surpasses even human capabilities. Nolte describes this evolution in three stages, the first of which is the Internet using photonics. He notes that by 2020, holographic computers will be commonplace, and by 2050, computers will actually achieve artificial intelligence. Nolte also predicts the impact these computers may have on people and our way of life. A Publishers Weekly writer commended the book, saying that it "gives compelling insights into the nature of human thought and technology." Mark Williams of Red Herring maintained that Mind at Light Speed "explains it all as comprehensibly as you'll find anywhere, synthesizing explanations on converging fields, like holography, optical communications technology, and computational theory."



Publishers Weekly, November 5, 2001, review of Mind at Light Speed: A New Kind of Intelligence, p. 53.

Research and Development, February 20, 2002, review of Mind at Light Speed, p. 25.

Science News, March 23, 2002, review of Mind at Light Speed, p. 191.


Boston Globe online, (August 12, 2002), Elizabeth Corcoran, "Harnessing the Speed—and Power—of Light."

OE Magazine online, (August 12, 2002), "New Book Predicts Future of Optical Computing."

Purdue News online, (August 12, 2002), Emil Venere, "World Will See Computers in Whole New Light."

Purdue University Physics Department Web site, (March 17, 2002).

Red Herring, (August 12, 2002), Mark Williams, "Photonic Computing Takes a Quantum Leap."*