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 23, 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 23, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) — 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) — Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) — Daimler kicks off a round of second-quarter earnings results from Europe's top carmakers with a healthy set of numbers - prompting hopes that stronger sales in Europe will counter weakness in emerging markets. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

Reuters - US Online Video (July 22, 2014) — Ten years after releasing its initial report, members of the 9/11 Commission warn of the "waning sense of urgency" in combating terrorists attacks. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
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