Molecules of light pulses

Oct 12, 2005

Corrected [contrubuted by Prof. Dr. Fedor Mitschke]: Researchers at the University of Rostock in Germany have made the world's first molecules of light pulses, which might allow a significant increase in the data transfer rate of fiber optical systems. The molecules are built of temporal solitons, pulses of light that do not dissipate or easily lose their shape like most other types of pulses. Solitons are useful for transmitting information because the signals can travel over long distances without degrading.

Solitons are waves that can have characteristics similar to material particles, like electrons and billiard balls. Although molecules made from spatial solitons have been demonstrated before, the researchers claim that this is the first time anyone has made temporal solitons stick together to form structures analogous to molecules.

Fiber optical systems transmit information by sending light signals through a fiber as a combination of zeros (dark) and ones (light). The data transfer rate for binary coding is fast approaching its fundamental limits, but it may be possible to bypass the limit by transmitting information as zeros, ones, and twos with soliton molecules representing the number two.

The Rostock scientists propose that using soliton molecules as the "two" in information coding could take telecommunications technology to the next level without expensive infrastructure upgrades. They also believe that it may eventually be possible to represent higher numbers with molecules comprised of more complex groups of solitons.

M. Stratmann, T. Pagel, and F. Mitschke
Physical Review Letters
link.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v95/e143902

Source: American Physical Society

Explore further: Newton's Laws of Motion model chimp behavior

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Finding the right soliton for future networks

May 14, 2008

European researchers say their study of self-sustaining solitary light wave packets could result in a new generation of computers and optical telecommunications networks. Using light rather than electronic or magnetic devices ...

Recommended for you

Unified theory for skyrmion-materials

20 hours ago

Magnetic vortex structures, so-called skyrmions, could in future store and process information very efficiently. They could also be the basis for high-frequency components. For the first time, a team of physicists ...

Scientists provide new data on the nature of dark matter

21 hours ago

Recent research conducted by scientists from the University of Granada sheds light on the nature of dark matter, one of the most important mysteries in physics. As indirect evidence provided by its gravitational ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.