Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists twist light to send data: Beams of light can be twisted and combined to transmit data dramatically faster

Date:
June 25, 2012
Source:
University of Southern California
Summary:
Researchers have developed a system of transmitting data using twisted beams of light at ultra-high speeds -- up to 2.56 terabits per second.

Artist's abstraction. Researchers have developed a system of transmitting data using twisted beams of light at ultra-high speeds -- up to 2.56 terabits per second.
Credit: kentoh / Fotolia

A multi-national team led by USC with researchers hailing from the U.S., China, Pakistan and Israel has developed a system of transmitting data using twisted beams of light at ultra-high speeds -- up to 2.56 terabits per second.

Related Articles


To put that in perspective, broadband cable (which you probably used to download this) supports up to about 30 megabits per second. The twisted-light system transmits more than 85,000 times more data per second.

Their work might be used to build high-speed satellite communication links, short free-space terrestrial links, or potentially be adapted for use in the fiber optic cables that are used by some Internet service providers.

"You're able to do things with light that you can't do with electricity," said Alan Willner, electrical engineering professor at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the corresponding author of an article about the research that was published in Nature Photonics on June 24. "That's the beauty of light; it's a bunch of photons that can be manipulated in many different ways at very high speed."

Willner and his colleagues used beam-twisting "phase holograms" to manipulate eight beams of light so that each one twisted in a DNA-like helical shape as it propagated in free space. Each of the beams had its own individual twist and can be encoded with "1" and "0" data bits, making each an independent data stream -- much like separate channels on your radio.

Their demonstration transmitted the data over open space in a lab, attempting to simulate the sort of communications that might occur between satellites in space. Among the next steps for the research field will be to advance how it could be adapted for use in fiber optics, like those frequently used to transmit data over the Internet.

The team's work builds on research done by Leslie Allen, Anton Zeilinger, Miles Padgett and their colleagues at several European universities.

"We didn't invent the twisting of light, but we took the concept and ramped it up to a terabit-per-second," Willner said. His team included Jian Wang, Jeng-Yuan Yang, Irfan M. Fazal, Nisar Ahmed, Yan Yan, Hao Huang, Yongxiong Ren and Yang Yue from USC; Samuel Dolinar from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory; and Moshe Tur from Tel Aviv University.

Wang, the lead author, left USC after completing this research and is now a professor at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China.

This research was funded by the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA) under the InPho (Information in a Photon) program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southern California. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jian Wang, Jeng-Yuan Yang, Irfan M. Fazal, Nisar Ahmed, Yan Yan, Hao Huang, Yongxiong Ren, Yang Yue, Samuel Dolinar, Moshe Tur, Alan E. Willner. Terabit free-space data transmission employing orbital angular momentum multiplexing. Nature Photonics, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2012.138

Cite This Page:

University of Southern California. "Scientists twist light to send data: Beams of light can be twisted and combined to transmit data dramatically faster." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120625133349.htm>.
University of Southern California. (2012, June 25). Scientists twist light to send data: Beams of light can be twisted and combined to transmit data dramatically faster. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120625133349.htm
University of Southern California. "Scientists twist light to send data: Beams of light can be twisted and combined to transmit data dramatically faster." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120625133349.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Inspectors Found Faulty Work Before NYC Blast

Inspectors Found Faulty Work Before NYC Blast

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) An hour before an apparent gas explosion sent flames soaring and debris flying at a Manhattan apartment building, injuring 19 people, utility company inspectors decided the work being done there was faulty. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) Facebook on Thursday revealed more details about its Internet-connected drone project. The drone is bigger than a 737, but lighter than a car. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 27, 2015) The companion robot "Kirobo" returns to earth from the International Space Station and sets two Guinness World Records. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Witness Building Explosion, Collapse

Residents Witness Building Explosion, Collapse

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) Witnesses recount the sites and sounds of a massive explosion and subsequent building collapse in the heart of Manhattan&apos;s trendy East Village on Thursday. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins