While teleportation is still science fiction, a research team has discovered a way to twist light that can send data at blazing speeds.
A multi-national team led by researchers from the University of Southern California, and included scientists from Israel, China, Pakistan, sent data across an open space using twisted light beams. The data moved at up to 2.56 terabits a second.
For comparison, broadband cable moves at up to 30 megabits a second. The data transmitted by light beam moved 85,000 times that speed.
Researchers hope that their test may be used to build high-speed satellite communication links, short free-space terrestrial links, or even for use in fiber-optic cables used by some internet companies. The new technology may be the future for increasing communication speeds between computers, televisions and phones.
The team used beam-twisting “phase holograms” to manipulate eight beams into DNA-like coils that moved in free space. Each of the beams had their own individual twist, allowing different data transmissions from each beam of light.
The demonstration took place over open space in a laboratory, as the team tried to recreate the kind of communications that might occur between satellites in space. They hope that the research can be continued to be adapted for use in current technologies like fiber-optics, which is currently used to transmit internet data today.
The team’s work is an expansion of what has been done by Leslie Allen, Anton Zeilinger, Miles Padgett and their associates at several European universities. The USC team concedes that they did not invent the twisting of light, but they improved on it to increase transmission speeds.
The study was published in Nature Photonics.