By Richard ArnesonWho would have thought that by twisting fiber optics you could get speeds up to 100 times faster? Not me, but apparently engineers and researchers at Melbourne, Australia’s RMIT University thought it would. They wondered whether fiber, if twisted—or at least the light within it was twisted—could create another dimension, a third dimension, to carry 1’s and 0’s faster. Spoiler alert—it can. Actually, it was U.S.-based researchers who first discovered that light could be “twisted”, but it was the ones from down under who first created a reasonable-sized detector to read the transmitted information. The first detector was the size of a Mini Cooper, but the chip has been whittled down considerably—it’s now the width of a single strand of human hair. While it’s unclear if the U.S. researchers were inspired by the same vision, those at RMIT got the idea by looking at the double helix spiral in DNA. Both sets of researchers, however, pondered about the same thing—would increasing spirally light’s momentum (it’s called orbital angular momentum) could enhance transmission speeds? The promise that twisted fiber holds is staggering. According to one (1) researcher who worked on and was eminently involved with the project, the amount of turns could be, theoretically, infinite.
Every once in a while, something pops up that’s compelling enough to mention for its relevancy, differentiation, problem-solving effectiveness with minimal operational overhead. We found one in the security space.