Researchers use novel polarization to increase data speeds

April 23, 2015, City College of New York
Researchers use novel polarization to increase data speeds
Light's polarization is manipulated into novel shapes carrying additional data, according to the CCNY research.

As the world's exponentially growing demand for digital data slows the Internet and cell phone communication, City College of New York researchers may have just figured out a new way to increase its speed.

Giovanni Milione, a PhD student under City College Distinguished Professor of Science and Engineering Robert Alfano, led the pioneering experiment conducted at the University of Southern California with collaborators from Corning Incorporated, Scotland, Italy and Canada.

"Conventional methods of data transmission use light which has the fastest speed in the universe. However, these methods are being exhausted by data hungry technologies, such as, smart phones and cloud computing," said Milione. "So, we came up with an unconventional method."

Using special devices called "q-plates," the researchers manipulated a 's polarization into novel shapes some of which Milione referred to as "radial" and "azimuthal." "While light's polarization (linear and circular) is used for many modern technologies, such as, 3D television, its shape is often left untouched," he said.

The researchers showed that each shape could carry an additional data stream. While the researchers used only four shapes, in principal, the number that can be used is unlimited. "The amount of data that can be transmitted on a single laser beam can be scaled to terabits or even petabits," said Alfano. "This technology is potentially compatible with building to building communication in NYC or even between Google data centers."

Their research, supported in part by DARPA, the Army Research Office, and Corning Incorporated, appears in an upcoming issue of the journal, Optics Letters.

Explore further: Physicists map spiraling light to harness untapped data capacity

More information: Optics Letters, www.opticsinfobase.org/ol/abst … cfm?uri=ol-40-9-1980

Related Stories

Corning plans to light Phire on display covers

February 7, 2015

(Phys.org) —Scratches on the smartphone display cover and phone drops on the pavement are two dreaded events that put a damper on any pleasure that comes from owning a sleek, feature-rich phone. The word "Gorilla" was a ...

Combs of light accelerate communication

April 14, 2014

Miniaturized optical frequency comb sources allow for transmission of data streams of several terabits per second over hundreds of kilometers – this has now been demonstrated by researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology ...

Recommended for you

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

Physicists reveal why matter dominates universe

March 21, 2019

Physicists in the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University have confirmed that matter and antimatter decay differently for elementary particles containing charmed quarks.

ATLAS experiment observes light scattering off light

March 20, 2019

Light-by-light scattering is a very rare phenomenon in which two photons interact, producing another pair of photons. This process was among the earliest predictions of quantum electrodynamics (QED), the quantum theory of ...

How heavy elements come about in the universe

March 19, 2019

Heavy elements are produced during stellar explosion or on the surfaces of neutron stars through the capture of hydrogen nuclei (protons). This occurs at extremely high temperatures, but at relatively low energies. An international ...

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.