Molecules of light pulses

October 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: Soliton molecules caused to vibrate like real molecules

Related Stories

Soliton molecules caused to vibrate like real molecules

June 20, 2017

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with the University of Burgundy in France has shown that solitons can vibrate like real molecules when paired. They have published a paper describing their technique and findings in the ...

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 ...

Broadband light sources with liquid core

July 31, 2017

Research scientists from Jena have produced broadband laser light in the mid-infrared range with the help of liquid-filled optical fibers. The experiment produced proof of a new dynamics of hybrid solitons—temporally and ...

Recommended for you

Japan space robots start asteroid survey

September 22, 2018

A pair of robot rovers have landed on an asteroid and begun a survey, Japan's space agency said Saturday, as it conducts a mission aiming to shed light on the origins of the solar system.

First to red planet will become Martians: Canada astronaut

September 22, 2018

Astronauts traveling through space on the long trip to Mars will not have the usual backup from mission control on Earth and will need to think of themselves as Martians to survive, Canada's most famous spaceman half-jokingly ...

Ocean acidification may reduce sea scallop fisheries

September 21, 2018

Each year, fishermen harvest more than $500 million worth of Atlantic sea scallops from the waters off the east coast of the United States. A new model created by scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), ...

New battery gobbles up carbon dioxide

September 21, 2018

A new type of battery developed by researchers at MIT could be made partly from carbon dioxide captured from power plants. Rather than attempting to convert carbon dioxide to specialized chemicals using metal catalysts, which ...

0 comments

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.