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Splitting Light Could Improve Telecommunication Networks

Splitting Light Could Improve Telecommunication Networks

AUSTIN, Texas--A new method for speeding and slowing a pulse of light simultaneously could lead to much faster optical telecommunication networks and more efficient optic-based computers.

In a paper published in Physical Review A, University of Texas at Austin physicists Pablo Bianucci, Ken Shih and Gennady Shvets report the first ever demonstration of breaking a light pulse into two, one traveling faster than the speed of the original light and the other one slower.

They accomplished the feat using a microscopic glass sphere coupled to an optical fiber, taking advantage of the polarization of the light.

The ability to do both these actions simultaneously could prove a powerful tool in handling optical data. For example, the advanced pulse could be used for routing purposes while the slowed one is "buffered," improving operation in congested networks.

Previous experiments have shown that light can be sped up, slowed down and even stopped. But in all of these experiments, only one of these actions was performed at a time.

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Monday, 05 December 2022

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