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: Generating broadband terahertz radiation from a microplasma in air

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

Upside down and inside out

33 minutes ago

Researchers have captured the first 3D video of a living algal embryo turning itself inside out, from a sphere to a mushroom shape and back again. The results could help unravel the mechanical processes at ...

Researchers build real-time tunable plasmon laser

Apr 24, 2015

(Phys.org)—A combined team of researchers from Northwestern and Duke Universities has succeeded in building a plasmon laser that is tunable in real-time. In their paper published in the journal Nature Co ...

Heat makes electrons spin in magnetic superconductors

Apr 24, 2015

Physicists have shown how heat can be exploited for controlling magnetic properties of matter. The finding helps in the development of more efficient mass memories. The result was published yesterday in Physical Review Le ...

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.