New fiber optic technology could allow 100-times faster internet2018-10-25 17:18 by Daniela
Australian researchers have found a way to make Internet speeds 100 times faster using fiber optics. The research, which was published in Nature Communications, gives fiber optics systems a new way to interpret information by actually twisting light as it travels. This allows the light to carry a lot more data than it already does.
By detecting light that has been twisted into a spiral, the new fiber optics research could theoretically be applied to existing networks to significantly boost current speeds.
"It's like DNA, if you look at the double helix spiral," RMIT University's Min Gu explained. "The more you can use angular momentum the more information you can carry."
Fiber optic cables use pulses of light to transmit information, and by twisting the light, engineers can effectively create more space for information to travel. Researchers have previously created fiber that could twist light, but the size of the detectors wasn't reasonable enough for the purpose of internet.
This new breakthrough is more compact than previous efforts to increase the efficiency of fiber optics and, the researchers claim, could be easily added existing fiber networks to augment their capabilities.
"Our miniature OAM nano-electronic detector is designed to separate different OAM light states in a continuous order and to decode the information carried by twisted light. To do this previously would require a machine the size of a table, which is completely impractical for telecommunications," said Dr. Haoran Ren, co-author of a paper on the subject that was just published in the journal Nature Communications. "By using ultrathin topological nanosheets measuring a fraction of a millimeter, our invention does this job better and fits on the end of an optical fiber."
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