Light isn’t always cooperative, and one it’s least favorite things to go around corners. In photonics chips, direction changes are crucial for manipulating light for the purpose of carrying information. Researchers recently have devised a solution—an irregularly-shaped waveguide— that tricks light into thinking it’s going in a straight line.
Ever been to a whispering gallery—a quiet, circular space underneath an old cathedral...
In physics class, students learn that that a light wave oscillates perpendicular to...
Researchers in the U.K. have achieved previously unseen levels of control over the...
By bouncing eye-safe laser pulses off a mirror on a hillside, researchers at NIST have transferred ultraprecise time signals through open air with unprecedented precision equivalent to the "ticking" of the world's best next-generation atomic clocks. The demonstration shows how next-generation atomic clocks at different locations could be linked wirelessly to improve distribution of time and frequency information.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have found a new mechanism to transmit light through optical fibers. Their discovery marks the first practical application of a Nobel-Prize-winning phenomenon that was proposed in 1958. The team harnessed “Anderson localization” to create an optical fiber with a strong scattering mechanism that traps the beam of light as it traverses the fiber.
Orlando-based photonics technology acceleration company Open Photonics Inc. and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have announced a partnership to accelerate the commercialization of VTT’s advanced Fabry-Perot visible and infrared spectroscopy and spectral imaging technologies.
Engineers at Stanford have developed a prototype single-fiber endoscope that improves the resolution of these much-sought-after instruments fourfold over existing designs. This so-called micro-endoscope can resolve objects just 2.5 micrometers in size and could lead to an era of needle-thin, minimally invasive endoscopes able to view features out of reach of today’s instruments.
Sandia National Laboratories has become a pioneer in large-scale passive optical networks, building the largest fiber optical local area network in the world. The network pulls together 265 buildings and 13,000 computer network ports and brings high-speed communication to some of the laboratories' most remote technical areas for the first time.
Not only do optical fibers transmit information every day around the world at the speed of light, but they can also be harnessed for the transport of quantum information. Physicists in Austria have recently reported how they have directly transferred the quantum information stored in an atom onto a particle of light. Such information could then be sent over optical fiber to a distant atom.
Researchers in Japan and Germany have recently demonstrated a device that can focus and steer terahertz beams electrically. Based on an array of metal cantilevers which can be micromechanically actuated by electrostatic forces, the device can create tunable gratings that may be crucial in future terahertz wavelength communication systems.
Silica microwires are the tiny and as-yet underutilized cousins of optical fibers. If precisely manufactured, however, these hair-like slivers of silica could enable applications and technology not currently possible with comparatively bulky optical fiber. By carefully controlling the shape of water droplets with an ultraviolet laser, a team of researchers from Australia and France has found a way to coax silica nanoparticles to self-assemble into much more highly uniform silica wires.
Cuba apparently has finally switched on the first undersea fiber-optic cable linking it to the outside world nearly two years after its arrival, according to analysis by a company that monitors global Internet use. In a report posted Sunday on the website of Renesys, author Doug Madory wrote that Cuba began using the ALBA-1 cable on Jan. 14.
Communicating with light may soon get a lot easier, hints recent research from NIST and the University of Maryland's Joint Quantum Institute (JQI), where scientists have potentially found a way to overcome a longstanding barrier to cleaner signals.
As technology advances, it tends to shrink. From cell phones to laptops—powered by increasingly faster and tinier processors—everything is getting thinner and sleeker. And now light beams are getting smaller, too. Engineers at the California Institute of Technology have created a device that can focus light into a point just a few nanometers across—an achievement they say may lead to next-generation applications in computing, communications, and imaging.
For the first time, a silicon-based optical fiber with solar cell capabilities has been developed that has been shown to be scalable to many meters in length. The research opens the door to the possibility of weaving together solar cell silicon wires to create flexible, curved, or twisted solar fabrics.
Silicon is used in components, e.g. filters or deflectors, for telecommunications. So far, however, all these components have been flat, or 2D. Researchers have developed a new etching method for these structures that results 3D microstructures in silicon. Suitable for fiber optic communications, their optical properties are adjustable at the micrometer scale.
Design for remotely monitoring large infrastructures, the longest fiber-optic sensor network yet designed would measure 250 km in length and be equipped with multiplexing technology to allow multiple information channels to be carried. Theorized by a researcher in Spain, the network would allow long-distance analysis with requiring a power source for the sensors.
This week, design company 4DSP has launched live industry demonstrations of licensed NASA fiber optic sensing and 3D shape rendering technology. Past fiber optic sensing solutions have been limited by both processing speed and high deployment costs, and 4DSP expects the new technology to offer a 20-fold improvement in performance.
A "magic carpet" which can immediately detect when someone has fallen and can help to predict mobility problems has been demonstrated by University of Manchester scientists. Plastic optical fibers, laid on the underlay of a carpet, can bend when anyone treads on it and map, in real time, their walking patterns.
Clemson University researchers are taking common materials to uncommon places by transforming easily obtainable and affordable materials into fiber. The research team found that sapphire possesses extraordinary properties that make it exceptionally valuable for high-power lasers in which the light intensity interacts with sound waves in the glass and leads to diminished power-handling capabilities.
Tests performed at NIST show that a new method for splitting photon beams could overcome a fundamental physical hurdle in transmitting electronic data. The findings confirm that a prototype device developed with collaborators at Stanford University can double the amount of quantum information that can be sent readily through fiber-optic cables, and in theory could lead to an even greater increase in the rate of this type of transmission.
Processing biological samples on a small substrate the size of a computer chip is becoming a common task for biotechnology applications. Given the small working area, however, probing samples on the substrate with light can be difficult. Researchers in Singapore have now developed an optical fiber system that is able to deliver light to microfluidic chips with high efficiency.
Technology is helping communication companies merge telephone, television, and Internet services, but a push to deregulate may leave some customers on the wrong side of the digital divide during this convergence, according to a Penn State University telecommunications researcher.
Researchers have developed a wireless link that bridges two fiber-optic points at an unprecedented 20 billion bits of data per second. The phenomenal speed, which is to be presented at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition in Los Angeles next week, was achieved using much higher frequencies than have been typically used in mobile communications.
Scientists at the University of Southampton, in collaboration with Penn State University have, for the first time, embedded the high level of performance normally associated with chip-based semiconductors into an optical fiber, creating high-speed optoelectronic function.
Sometimes total electrical isolation is a good thing—and that's the idea behind a power-over-fiber communications cable being developed by engineers at Sandia National Laboratories. The Sandia team is developing a hybrid cable design that uses fiber to send and regulate optical power to the communications electronics integral to the cable. A patent is pending on the design.
By making nanoscale changes to the diameter of normal optical fiber, engineers can create narrow sections that are able to confine light, sending it on a back-and-forth on a corkscrew path. These microresonators are not new, but researchers from OFS Laboratories in Somerset, N.J., have developed a precise and efficient way to build long chains of them, suggesting a way to make an optical computer.
Managing light to carry computer data is possible today with laser light beams that are guided along a fiber-optic cable. These waves consist of countless billions of photons, which carry information down the fiber across continents. A research team at the University of Alberta wants to refine the optical transmission of information by using a single photon.