Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Solitons in a crystal: New light source could serve in geo-navigation, search for Earth-like planets

Date:
December 23, 2013
Source:
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Summary:
By creating an optical soliton in a microresonator, scientists have found a new light source that could serve in geo-navigation, telecommunications, spectroscopy and the hunt for new Earth-like planets.

Soliton water waves can travel several kilometers without any significant change in their shape or amplitude, as opposed to normal waves, which widen as they travel, and eventually disappear. Discovered over 150 years ago in water canals, solitons represent a surprising phenomenon of wave propagation and have been observed in natural phenomena including moving sand dunes and space plasmas. A unique aspect of solitons is that they can retain their shape because of non-linear and dispersive effects that stabilize the wave. Solitons can even occur as pulses of light that can propagate through a suitable transparent medium, e.g. an optical telecommunication fiber.

Publishing in Nature Photonics, EPFL scientists collaborating with the Russian Quantum Center and the M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University have now discovered that so-called optical dissipative solitons can also exist in small millimeter-size optical resonators.

The optical resonators are crystals shaped to form a resonator that can guide a soliton light pulse on an endless circular path. When such a soliton light pulse circulates inside the resonator, a small fraction of it can be extracted every time the pulse completes one roundtrip.

The scientists at EPFL's Laboratory for Photonics and Quantum Measurement analyzed the extracted light pulses from the resonator and found them to be surprisingly short in duration; much shorter in fact than one millionth of one millionth of a second. Due to the small size of the optical resonator, the time between two extracted pulses is extremely short and the pulse rate very high.

Besides being of large scientific interest, the high rate of repeated ultra-short light pulses is important for many applications: In astronomy, it can be used to search for Earth-like planets, chemists can identify unknown substances, and the capacity of today's telecommunication networks can be boosted by orders of magnitude. Moreover, the solitons can be used for low-noise microwave generation or in future space-based optical clocks, significantly improving today's geo-navigation. Together with EPFL's Tech-Transfer Office, the scientists have applied for a patent and hope that their discovery will soon prove itself in one of its many applications.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. T. Herr, V. Brasch, J. D. Jost, C. Y. Wang, N. M. Kondratiev, M. L. Gorodetsky, T. J. Kippenberg. Temporal solitons in optical microresonators. Nature Photonics, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2013.343

Cite This Page:

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. "Solitons in a crystal: New light source could serve in geo-navigation, search for Earth-like planets." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131223100741.htm>.
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. (2013, December 23). Solitons in a crystal: New light source could serve in geo-navigation, search for Earth-like planets. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131223100741.htm
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. "Solitons in a crystal: New light source could serve in geo-navigation, search for Earth-like planets." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131223100741.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) — AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shipping Crates Get New 'lease' On Life

Shipping Crates Get New 'lease' On Life

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 25, 2014) — Shipping containers have been piling up as America imports more than it exports. Some university students in Washington D.C. are set to get a first-hand lesson in recycling. Their housing is being built using refashioned shipping containers. Lily Jamali reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) — Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) — TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) 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:
from the past week

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